Shami, Kumar, Cook compound England woe

England

England's problems were compounded on day two of the first Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday, as Indian tail-enders Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar orchestrated a record alliance – and captain Alastair Cook's woeful stretch of form continued.

England's problems were compounded on day two of the first Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, as Indian tail-enders Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar orchestrated a record alliance – and captain Alastair Cook's woeful stretch of form continued.

While Shami and Kumar's 111-run stand for the 10th wicket and Cook's departure for just five capped the woe, England too lamented wicketkeeper Matt Prior dropping half-centurion Mahendra Singh Dhoni early on Thursday – and seamer Liam Plunkett's failure to appeal an obvious edge.

Resuming on 259 for four, the Indians boasted high hopes of posting a formidable first-innings score – and perhaps only batting once in this vital series opener. Centurion Murali Vijay and Dhoni remained at the fore of the charge, but eventually fell in relatively quick succession for 146 and 82 respectively.

A pitch otherwise maligned for a docile nature enjoyed momentary life, as a dramatic collapse brought five wickets for the addition of 42 runs. From the promise of 304 for four, the tourists had slipped to 346 for nine. Shami and Kumar, however, refused to go down without a fight.

Frustrating the opposition attack entirely, numbers nine and 11 secured a maiden Test century each in a stand that spanned almost three hours – and amounted to a record 111 runs.

Surpassing the 109 gathered by 1952 duo Hemu Adhikari and Ghulam Ahmed against Pakistan in Delhi, but falling short of the 133 amassed by the veteran Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan versus Bangladesh in Dhaka a decade ago, Shami and Kumar settled for the country's second-highest last-wicket combination in Test match cricket.

The defiance ensured a final total of 457 all out – and arguably more importantly – kept the home side in the field for a full 161 overs. Fast bowler Stuart Broad's limb and visible ache typified a very tough day, while fellow right-armer James Anderson was marginally consoled by final figures of three for 123. Broad, Anderson and Plunkett shared all of 108 overs – and at least one will surely be rested for the second Test at Lord's.

Left with the final 17 overs of the day to successfully combat, Cook characteristically failed. Now 25 Test innings without a century and ever closer to being revealed of the leadership, the languishing left-hander contrived to be bowled around the legs by seamer Shami for just five.

The Australian-bred Sam Robson and Zimbabwean-born Gary Ballance were later at hand to lead the English to the safety of the close of play. A stodgy start of 43 for one, though, will require patient progression come Friday's gradual reduction of a daunting 414-run deficit.

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