Uzair Rizvi, BeyondHeadlines
A gripping final day of the first test saw England emerge victorious by 196 runs. It was a match that saw the balance of play swing in favor of both sides at different stages.
Chasing a record target of 458 runs, Indian team folded up for 261 in the final session of the fifth day with 28 overs still left.
Anderson led the charge with his brilliant bowling took 5/65 and his fellow mate Broad chipped in with 3 wickets to collapse the Indian batting which only revolved around Laxman’s 56 and a fighting 78 from Suresh Raina.
The equation for the Indian’s was simple. They needed to bat 98 overs on the last day to save the game because chasing the target of 458 was never going to be a probable aim with already losing Mukund on the fourth day.
The English pacers were relentless in testing Dravid and Laxman .They bowled good line to trouble these two batsmen.
Gambhir who could not open the innings because of bruised elbow hung on for 56 balls before Swann trapped him.
Sachin was over-defensive in his approach (12 runs from 64 balls),having survived a close LBW appeal against Broad , he was also dropped by Strauss in Anderson’s over but was out in the same over as he got trapped plumb in front of the wicket, this time Umpire Billy Bowden raised his finger.
Probably playing for the last time at Lord’s, the little master failed to score his maiden century at this venue.
Raina battled against the bowlers and put up a 50 partnership with Dhoni, as the skipper edged a Tremlett’s delivery to wicket keeper Prior.
The tail hung on for a while with Raina, who scored some fluent strokes before getting out and soon the rest perished.
Kevin Pietersen was declared the man of the match for his double century in the first innings.
Strauss praised his bowlers for their epic performance and acknowledged their hard work.
While Dhoni clearly stated that Zaheer’s absence at an early stage was a big setback. This prompted Dhoni to take off his gloves and bowl some gentle medium pace.
This match was the 2000th Test and was witnessed by the great cricket enthusiast’s. The test recorded almost full house on each day with a record 28,500 spectators on the final day.
England takes a 1-0 lead in the four match series and can take the top rankings from India if they win the series by two tests or more.
The second test begins at Trent Bridge on 29th July.