Ollie Robinson secured his maiden Test five-fer as England hauled themselves back into contention on day three of their Test Match with India.
The right-armer curtailed the visitors’ late-order rampage to finish with figures of 5/85, finding ample support from James Anderson as India were dismissed for 278.
England were largely untroubled in reaching 25/0, still trailing by 70 runs, as the rains came.
It was a day which mirrored those which went before it in following a somewhat stop-start pattern.
Slow, slow, quick, quick. The rhythm of the foxtrot, of the Spanish football team’s tiki-taka, and of this first LV= Insurance Test.
If, on day two, James Anderson’s eleventh over brought frenetic fervour to those watching on, then his 14th was positively somnambulant.
His first delivery came at 2.30pm on that second day, his second at 4.10pm, his third and fourth shortly after 5pm.
Mercifully, day three began with slightly brighter skies, allowing Anderson to complete his over some 20 hours after it began.
Interruptions remained something of a theme, but the fixture fairly motored along when the players were able to take to the field.
Robinson and Anderson created chances aplenty – the former winning a moral victory by inducing Rishabh Pant into a top-edge that went for six, before winning the battle altogether more conclusively from the next ball.
Pant drove hesitantly, Jonny Bairstow pounced at short cover, and one of India’s dangermen was gone for 25.
England were on top – every play-and-miss greeted generously by a knowledgeable Trent Bridge crowd, every miserly over increasing the pressure on KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja.
But Jadeja is a pugnacious character, and an exquisite drive through long-on took him to 2,000 Test runs – the fifth-fastest to reach that landmark and take 200 wickets.
Even so, wicket-taking opportunities arrived with regularity. An edge from Rahul off Sam Curran landed agonisingly short of second slip, a regulation chance at first slip shelled by Root off Anderson.
Anderson would, however, receive his just reward.
A full ball enticed an edge from Rahul, sending the opener packing for 84 and moving Anderson clear of Anil Kumble into third on the list of all-time Test wicket-takers.
A textbook outswinger two overs later accounted for Shardul Thakur, triggering a chorus of ‘Oh Jimmy Jimmy’ that resonated around the stands, into the concourses and halfway back to Burnley.
As wickets fell, Jadeja countered, whipping to square leg and slashing through point with aplomb, before one slog too many ended in the hands of Stuart Broad.
The southpaw’s exit temporarily steadied the pace of the Indian innings, but after Mohammed Shami was bowled by Robinson, the impetus returned.
Four successive boundaries flowed from the bats of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, as the last-wicket pair lived a charmed life in their attempts to post a decisive first-innings lead.
The curtain ultimately fell courtesy of a fine, tumbling take from Broad, Bumrah departing to secure Robinson a maiden Test five wicket haul.
In reply, Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley batted like an opening pair fully aware that the Test could be lost, but not decisively won, in the next passage of play.
Run-scoring opportunities were few, but so were genuine scares as the duo inched to 25 before precipitation that ultimately proved terminal.
Watch history unfold at Trent Bridge on August 19th when our historic venue hosts Royal London Cup Final.
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