Rain denies India shot at victory

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safari
08 Aug 2021 | 03:22 PM
authorcricket.com staff

Rain denies India shot at victory

The Virat Kohli-led side needed 157 runs and still had nine wickets in hand

England and India had to settle for a draw after the fifth and final day of the first Test was washed out completely on Sunday (August 8). The Virat Kohli-led side needed 157 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series and still had nine wickets in hand. The game was intriguingly poised but the rain gods showed no mercy and the officials abandoned the game after waiting for almost five hours.

"We were expecting rain on days three and four but it chose to come on day five. It would have been enjoyable to play and watch, but it's a shame. This is exactly what we wanted to do; start strong. On day five we knew we had our chances. We certainly felt like we were on top of the game. Getting that lead was crucial, but it's a shame we couldn't finish day five," said Indian skipper Kohli.

However, this performance would give the visitors a lot of confidence ahead of the next Test, starting on Thursday. There was a splendid Japsrit Bumrah performance while KL Rahul shone with the bat. Rohit proved once again why him opening was a masterstroke that will be talked about for years. Ravindra Jadeja, with a half-century of his own, showed his class as one of the premier all-rounders in world cricket. India came so close yet the final result left them in a tangled state.

Chasing 209, India were 52/1 at the end of day four. The rain stayed away from Trent Bridge on the penultimate day and allowed Jasprit Bumrah and Joe Root to shine. The England skipper scored an astonishing century to keep his team in the game but Bumrah - with his impressive five-wicket haul -  and some brisk scoring turned the tide in India's favour.

On day four, England's top-order didn't contribute much, once again, but Root scored his 21st Test hundred and took the attack to India. The stylish right-hander crafted 14 fours in his 172-ball 107 and found ample support from the middle and lower-order. The likes of Jonny Bairstow, Daniel Lawrence, and Sam Curran all chipped in with solid cameos and took England's lead past 200. 

Things could have gone worse for India if not for Bumrah. The 27-year-old pacer claimed his sixth five-wicket haul and helped India bundle out England for 303 in 85.5 overs in their second innings. The surface was still good for batting and India would have fancied their chances with nine wickets remaining. If they would have managed to chase down this target, it would have been their highest successful chase in England.

Earlier, Bumrah and Co. bowled out England for just 183 runs in the first innings. In reply, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja scored impressive fifties and gave India a handy lead of 95 runs. Bumrah took nine wickets in the match, while Ollie Robinson claimed his maiden five-wicket haul. In the batting department, Root managed scores of 64 and 109, while Rahul hit 84 in the first innings. 

The second Test will start on Thursday (August 12) at Lord's.

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