Broad hat-trick glory defies India and Dravid
Close: Second Test, day two, Trent Bridge
Match score: England 24-1 (Strauss 6*, Bell 9*) and 221 (Broad 64); India 288 (Dravid 117, Yuvraj Singh 62, Laxman 54, Broad 6 for 46) Full scorecard
Session score: India 73-6, England 24-1 England win session
Astonishing. Stuart Broad took five wickets for no runs in 16 balls – including a hat-trick – to fire a Test turnaround to compare with the most famous in history. No wonder Sir Ian Botham himself was seen applauding from the Trent Bridge stands: he only took five for one during the 1981 Ashes.
If that series against Australia will be known forever as ‘Botham’s Ashes’ then this one is fast becoming a personal triumph for Broad. Like Botham in 1981, he was supposedly washed up before the heroics began.
At Lord’s, where England went 1-0 up in thrilling fashion, Broad took four for 37, three for 57 and also hit an unbeaten 74 to cock a snook at critics who would have had Tim Bresnan in his place due to a perceived drop in form.
Now, on his home ground in Nottingham, Broad has almost single-handedly kept England in the second Test. His 64 from 66 balls yesterday inspired a rally to 221 from the depths of 124 for eight, yet that was nothing compared to the drama of reducing India from 267 for four to 288 all out in the space of six unforgettable overs.
Overall, Broad took six for 46 as India, bolstered by Rahul Dravid’s magnificent 117 and his stand of 128 in 37 overs with Yuvraj Singh, saw their hopes of a first innings lead of match-deciding proportions wrecked by a spell of immaculately controlled hostility.
England had taken the second new ball with India on 258 for four and Broad’s first act was to find the edge of Dravid’s bat and all but have him caught at second slip on 115. Then, though, came the breakthrough with Yuvraj caught by wicketkeeper Matt Prior for 62 from a superb lifting delivery.
Broad’s next over brought the hat-trick, the 12th by an England bowler in Tests and the first by anyone in a Trent Bridge Test. Mahendra Singh Dhoni aimed a drive and was well held by Jimmy Anderson at second slip, Harbhajan Singh was adjudged lbw by umpire Marais Erasmus even though he got a big inside edge (will India accept the DRS system now?) and Praveen Kumar was clean bowled through a tentative bat.
Trent Bridge, already in a state of high excitement, erupted as Broad was engulfed by his England teammates. And yet the thrills of this second day were not over.
From the first ball of the next over, bowled by Bresnan, the redoubtable Dravid carved uncharacteristically to third man, where Alastair Cook took the catch, and Broad was soon having Ishant Sharma brilliantly held at short leg by Ian Bell to wrap up the innings. The last six Indian wickets had gone for just 21 runs.
Broad’s analysis, though, could and should have been even better. With India on 144 for four, and after both Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina had fallen to aggressive England bowling in the first hour after lunch – Tendulkar to Broad, of course – Yuvraj was dropped off Broad on just 4 by Kevin Pietersen in the gully. And, with India 279 for nine, Sharma was put down by Cook at third slip as Broad found the edge.
Throughout a long, sunny afternoon, the Pietersen miss threatened to be the moment the whole Test match turned India’s way. It could yet prove to be so, of course, as KP’s error was to cost England another 123 runs in the Dravid-Yuvraj partnership, but in a series so far full of superlatives it is Stuart’s Saturday Broadside which currently claims pride of place.
It had to be special to overshadow Dravid’s innings, which oozed class and skill through 370 minutes and 235 balls, while the early morning strokeplay of VVS Laxman, in a 54 ended by a fine ball from Bresnan, was yet another delight.
Yuvraj, after his early escape, was particularly harsh on Graeme Swann, whose 12 overs cost 76 runs, and while the match seemingly slipped away from England there was also the distressing sight of Jonathan Trott being led from the field nursing what looks to be a nasty shoulder injury, sustained while making a diving stop.
Trott is to have a scan to determine the damage, although initial tests suggest no cracked bones, but Bell is already batting in his No 3 position following the loss of Cook to the new ball – caught in the gully off Sharma as he tried to play to leg. England, though, survived until the close through Strauss and Bell and the scoreboard read 24 for one at stumps – as it did at 11am this morning when India resumed their first innings. Quite a lot happened in between, however!
Shot of the day: Dravid sweeps Swann delicately for four to reach his 34th Test hundred, putting him level with Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara
Ball of the day: Broad’s rapid off-cutter through Praveen Kumar’s flimsy defence: hat-trick!
Drop of the day: Kevin Pietersen spills Yuvraj off Broad as England are about to celebrate India slipping to 144 for five
Rumour of the day: That batsmen in this series are putting vaseline on the edge of their bats to try to thwart Hot Spot technology. Laxman survives an England review for a catch at the wicket on 27, with India then 48 for one in a tense first hour
Verdict: “Of the two teams I think England will be marginally the happier,” Mike Atherton