Sehwag falls first ball, Cook falls 545th
Close: Third Test, day three, Edgbaston
Match score: India 35-1 (G Gambhir 14*, R Dravid 18*) and 224 (MS Dhoni 77; SCJ Broad 4-53, TT Bresnan 4-62); England 710-7 dec (AN Cook 294, TT Bresnan 53*, EO Morgan 104, AJ Strauss 87, KP Pietersen 63) Full scorecard
Session score: England 64-1. India 35-1. India trail by 451 runs with nine wickets in hand. England win session
This England side is really good. Sehwag, new to the series, has been taught that lesson in two balls.
First Alastair Cook, who is more than likely to spend the entire match on the pitch, was finally suffocated out for 294. Dhoni realising that Strauss’ declaration depended on Cook’s landmark, stuck everyone on the boundary and told Cook to get it in singles.
Selflessly, Cook drove at a wide ball from Sharma and sliced it to deep backward point. And it was all over. He’d passed many high-score landmarks including Viv Richards, Ken Barrington, Peter May and Denis Compton – but fell short of Martin Crowe (299) and the rest. England’s 710 gave them a lead of 486.
It had been a tricky day for the spectators and umpires, a brutal day for the Indians. The light was up and down, the players on and off, with the floodlights blowing fuses. In the meantime, Cook kept batting, with Bresnan (unbeaten on 53) for most of the evening.
Bresnan had more of a dart – he made 50 from 72 balls reaching the landmark with a hefty swipe off Sharma over midwicket for six.
The sluggish nature of the situation made the Hollies Stand turn to playing with beach balls, which a steward promptly confiscated. “Stand up if you want the ball”, they started, a few thousand people chanting at a middle-aged man in a green luminous jacket. “You’ve only got one ball,” they finished.
While Cook plodded on, Edgbaston rocked.
This was all in anticipation. Today was about how long England would give India to bat: 11 overs was the answer. And Sehwag didn’t last till the third ball. Gambhir took three from Anderson’s first ball, bringing Sehwag onto strike. Edgbaston now alive and alight to the potential of a King Pair, roared Anderson in.
He bowled a fullish, widish outswinger, perfect for leaving alone. But this is Sehwag, he had a dart and Strauss took a comfortable catch at slip. The place took off.
Dravid calmly left Anderson’s identical next ball for Prior and all seemed well with the world: surgical England returned to their off-stump line – at least Bresnan and Anderson did, Broad bowled three weakish overs.
Then the really important news in the last two overs that Swann and KP bowled before they finally came off for bad light: they both turned it square. For Swann, tomorrow can’t come soon enough.
Shot of the day Cook’s nudge to midwicket for one. It felt like he played it 294 times. He only hit seven fours in 70 overs batting today.
Six of the day Bresnan’s healthy bash over midwicket off Sharma – great hit.
Catch of the day Sachin Tendulkar’s tumbling dive forward to catch Prior. Shades of the Lamb catch at Lord’s in 1990
Hero of the day Praveen Kumar 40 overs and conceded fewer than 100 (2 for 98) when England score 710… That’s bowling.
Moan of the day Everyone moaning about players going off for bad light. Yes, it’s annoying, but with the floodlights and the spinners, they only missed two overs in the day by 6.45.
Surprise of the day “I have bowled to more patient batsman.” Amit Mishra on Cook
Must try harder “You can still be disappointed when you’ve scored 290-odd. That’s cricket.” Alastair Cook
Chant of the day “Stand up, if you’re No.1, stand up if you’re No.1″ The Hollies Stand (of course).
Edward Craig is the deputy editor of The Cricketer magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_Ed