Like the first day, the close-of-play advantage rested with India at the end of day 2. In the morning, they carried on cautiously from yesterday’s 259/4 off 90 overs. England needed an early breakthrough to restrict India, while Dhoni thought in terms of prolonging his unfinished partnership with Murali Vijay. While both sides had their rewards, a rescue effort for India came from the most unexpected quarter. From a robust looking score of 344/5, India lost 4 wickets soon after lunch for the addition of just 4 runs and 348/9 appeared as a poor reflection of all the hard work, the earlier batsmen did. But the rejuvenated England bowlers were made to suffer by a gallant 111-run tenth wicket stand, worked out by India’s tail-enders. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. The two batted like accomplished campaigners and refused to fall prey to any tactic that England devised. Finally, when Kumar fell as the last wicket, India had progressed to 457. Shami, who remained unbeaten in the India innings, came on to open the bowling and removed England captain Alastair cook as England finished the day at 43/1 in 17 overs.
MS Dhoni and Murali Vijay picked up, from where they had left yesterday. From an otherwise swashbuckling Dhoni, the building up of an innings was a patient effort, which Vijay emulated to the hilt. All racy and adventurous strokes were avoided and the two batsmen added 45 since morning. At the score of 304, Vijay got struck on his back thigh, when the batsman couldn’t bring his bat quickly enough to an in-swinging ball from Anderson. It wasn’t an easy LBW decision for the umpire, who took some time before raising his finger. Ravindra Jadeja joined his captain, who was not out on 67 off 129 balls. But Jadeja did not look like staying for long as he began the long handle straightaway. The quick flow of runs added 40 for the sixth wicket before Jadeja departed on the third ball after lunch for 25 off 24 balls. Jadeja played a T20 shot to Ben stokes without moving his feet in trying to whack the bowler through the covers and all he managed was a thick edge, which Prior held with pleasure. Debutant Stuart Binny came to the crease after the loss of the fifth wicket and got his first test run on the second ball, he faced from Stokes. But he was soon witness to an unfortunate spectacle of his captain getting run-out from a direct throw by Anderson. Dhoni played a soft push to Stokes and ran quickly but the throw from Anderson on the non-striker’s end came even more quickly. Though Dhoni had offered a catching chance, his industrious knock of 82 off 152 balls was extremely valuable for his team. Two quick wickets after lunch made it 345/7 for India. Then the hell broke loose as two more wickets fell to take India to the brink at 346/9. With the addition of only four more runs after Jadeja got out, India had lost four wickets. But no one knew about a miracle that would unfold later.
India’s frontline bowlers Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were together at the crease after 9 wickets had fallen and England bowlers and fielders had a new spring in their feet. England got too much too soon with 4 easy wickets in their kitty after a hard grind of several sessions in the field. Kumar took a lead role in the early part of his partnership with Shami, who soon grew in confidence. Alastair Cook tried the combination of Liam Plunkett and James Anderson to unsettle the batsmen but the pair was unperturbed. Their batting was a mixture of adventure and class as they heaved at times and also came up with some classy shots that looked like having been drawn from the test-match copybook. Like seasoned batsmen they kept looking around for areas for deft placements or gaps that could be penetrated. Just after tea, Kumar reached his first fifty by playing a graceful flick off Anderson to deep cover. Then on the next ball, Shami also reached his 50 in great style. He picked up a fuller ball from Anderson and lofted it hard and high over the sight screen for a huge six. This also brought the 100 of their partnership. Bhuvneshwar Kumar finally holed out to Moeen ali at mid-on after whacking Ali’s previous ball to boundary. But the last wicket stand was already 111, when the innings folded at 457. With the confidence of a reasonably good first innings score, India applied pressure, when England came on to bat. In the fourth over of the innings, Shami bowled Alastair Cook round his legs. England spent a testing time in the remaining session on the second day, which ended with the score of 43/1.
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