Root and Anderson keep contest alive

A world record partnership for the 10th wicket between batsman Joe Root and tail-ender James Anderson inched the first Test closer to a draw on day four at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Saturday.

<p>Surpassing the 163 gathered by Australian pair Phil Hughes and Ashton Agar at the same venue against the English in July last year, Root and Anderson amassed a hefty 198 during an astonishing passage of play.</p><p></p><p>Exacting revenge on the opposition, who had also enjoyed a prolific last-wicket stand between aspiring all-rounders Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami on day three, the hosts completed a final total of 496 all out – and a handy lead of 39.</p><p></p><p>Resuming on 352 for nine, in response to India’s 457 all out, the home side wouldn’t have banked on staunch defence down the order – but certainly hoped Root would be able to reach three figures.</p><p></p><p>The right-hander dutifully obliged, completing the fourth century of a burgeoning career in the longest format of the game en route to 154 not out. Anderson, meanwhile, moved to 81.</p><p></p><p>The left-handed number 11 had never reached 40 prior to Saturday’s feat – and was reasonably muted in celebrating 50. Driving, hooking, pulling, cutting – and reverse sweep – with confidence, the 31-year-old thrilled an appreciative crowd.</p><p></p><p>The visiting seamers toiled throughout, leaving captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at odds with the composition of the attack. He eventually turned to Kumar, who delivered on cue, removing Anderson to complete a fine five-wicket haul on a placid pitch.</p><p></p><p>The sub-continental big guns were swift in response, removing the deficit on the back of openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay’s commanding 29 and 52 respectively. Dhawan was unable to capitalize, instead affording spin bowler a simple return catch from a lame full toss.</p><p></p><p>Vijay and the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara promised plenty in graduating to a half-ton each. The pair, however, perished in quick succession – returning the advantage to England.</p><p></p>Avoiding the use of a nightwatchman, the patient Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were later at hand to carry the score to 159 for three at the close of play. A lead of 128 will demand prompt growth come Sunday, if an early series lead is to be pursued