Rishabh Pant smashes 19 bounds and four sixes in stunning Test fifth century to see India rally from 98-5 to 338-7 by stumps; Watch day two at Edgbaston, live on Sky Sports Cricket, with coverage from 9.45am and play kicking off at 10.30am on Saturday
Rishabh Pant smashed a sensational 146 of 111 deliveries to rescue India from 98-5 on the first day of the fifth Rescheduled LV Insurance Test against England, the visitors ultimately closing out 338-7 at Edgbaston.
Pant smashed 19 bounds and four sixes in a blistering attack against a shocked England attack, who had previously done a fine job of dismantling the Indian top order.
James Anderson (3-52) fired both starters before a lengthy rain delay interrupted proceedings, while Matthew Potts (2-85) claimed key ground from Virat Kohli (11) as part of a double hit by the closer. of Durham shortly after the restart. .
Sam Billings then produced an excellent diving hold to see off Shreyas Iyer (15) as he tickled a glove on the side of Anderson’s leg, leaving India down five before reaching 100.
But Pant, who had already signaled his intent by charging Anderson earlier in their innings, launched a rather incredible counterattack and, ably supported by Ravindra Jadeja (83rd) in a 222-run stoppage, had India in control by dollies, a despite the crash of his and Shardul Thakur’s windows at the end of the day.
As Pant showed, it is an excellent batting surface that has been produced at Edgbaston, which makes England’s efforts in the morning, after Ben Stokes opted to bowl first under cloudy skies, all the more impressive.
Shubman Gill (17) couldn’t resist a push on a long backhand hanging off his stump that should have been left alone, Zak Crawley swallowed the catch on the second slip.
Crawley could have stolen another, but he dropped Hanuma Vihari when he was on six at Potts bowling alley, certainly a much more difficult opportunity to dive to his right. Stuart Broad (0-53), meanwhile, was denied the 550th Test wicket after Cheteshwar Pujara, initially delivered caught behind him, overturned the decision on review as the ball only hit the thigh pad. .
But Pujara (13) was soon gone, unable to add any more to his score, with Crawley back in action as Anderson found something to hit him on the slips.
He led Kohli into the crease, but his battle with Anderson that the Edgbaston crowd had been eagerly awaiting was rudely interrupted by rain.
However, the two-hour delay did not break England’s momentum, as Kohli nearly perished on Potts’ first return ball, coming perilously close to severing his stumps.
Potts was giving the ex-Indian captain all kinds of trouble and, shortly after taking Vihari (20) lbw to a nip-backer who stayed low, he finally claimed the wicket from Kohli with a nearly identical delivery to the one that first upset him. . this time, the ball crashed into his stumps when he left it too late to leave.
Anderson and Billings combined superbly to make for Shreyas, but from there Pant took over the Test with his bold and at times ridiculous hitting display.
Potts and Jack Leach (0-71) came under fire, in particular, while even the great Anderson was not spared, as Pant repeatedly charged England’s best Test bowler, arrogantly knocking a couple of limits past of the. He also attempted a Joe Root-style reverse ramp and slow sweep of successive deliveries with less success and wisely saved those shots thereafter.
The fifty position came between him and Jadeja in no time as he shot 14 in three deliveries in a leach over, finishing with a glorious six in a row. Pant then mentioned his personal half-century of 51 balls shortly before the tea break.
After the break, Pant was even more destructive as he raced into the remarkable fifth Test century with just 89 deliveries.
Leach was again the victim as a pair of big mowers took aim at the leg, the first hitting the midwicket fence as intended and the second swinging Pant and finishing more straight, helped bring the southpaw to two of his ton, which he did. duly reached with a quick scamper of two to initiate Broad’s next.
Jadeja’s fifty, with 109 barely slow balls, followed in the same over, the all-rounder so often the England scourge barely putting a foot wrong during his stroke, with the exception of an edge from Broad when in five that Root didn’t he was sure if he claimed cleanly on the slide.
Pant continued to get into Leach, 22 looted from the left-arm spinner’s ninth and final over of the day, which included another pair of sweetly-hit sixes straight to the ground, the second of which was nearly one-handed.
Instead, Root (1-23) came in for a bowl and, though he didn’t escape punishment, ended up with a ball on Pant’s incredible innings after he, too, was crushed by six: Billings with a hard shot behind the stumps. .
Stokes (1-34), who again struggled mightily with ballless bowling, added Shardul Thakur’s (1) wicket to one of those bonus deliveries, the eighth of his part, to see India down seven by stumps after a very absorbing day. Cricket.
Watch the second day of the rescheduled LV= Fifth Insurance Test between England and India, at Edgbaston, live on Sky Sports Cricket, with coverage from 9.45am and play kicking off at 10.30am on Saturday .