World-record stand puts England ahead
2:54pm Saturday 12th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
England's Joe Root and James Anderson rode roughshod over the record books with the highest 10th-wicket stand in Test history on a surreal fourth morning against India.
The pair batted serenely for the entire opening session as they took their partnership to the dizzy heights of 198, eclipsing the 163 made by Australia's Ashton Agar and Phil Hughes on the same Trent Bridge pitch last year.
Root cantered to his fourth hundred, finishing unbeaten on 156, but Anderson was the revelation as he smashed his own previous highs in Tests (34), first-class (37no) and club cricket (49no).
His 81 was not only his first ever competitive half-century but also the top score by a England number 11, besting John Snow's 59no in 1966.
England's 496 all out represented a lead of 39 - unthinkable when Anderson joined Root at 298 for nine on the third evening.
Anderson, who arrived in Nottingham with a batting average of just over 10, had just begun to flirt with the prospect of becoming the first player to score a century from the bottom of the order when he nicked Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Shikhar Dhawan at slip.
It all represented good fun for the paying public and a well-earned day in the sun for England's workhorse Anderson, but the fact that both sides have now put on century stands for the last wicket is a damning verdict on a lifeless pitch.
England resumed on 352 for nine, with Root on 78 and Anderson in place on 23.
They picked up precisely where they had left off the night before, Anderson whipping Kumar for four through midwicket in the first over.
He added another boundary in Kumar's next over, this time lacing a drive past point.
A dashed two from Root took the pair past England's record 10th-wicket stand against India, 70 shared by Paul Allott and Bob Willis in 1982, and the crowd quickly warmed to the entertainment.
Root managed to ease into the 90s while farming the strike and raced to his hundred with successive boundaries off Mohammed Shami.
Both were sweet connections, Root powering the ball through cover and point to reach three figures in 186 deliveries.
He was quick to include Anderson in his celebrations, in recognition of his fine supporting hand.
With India quickly tiring of their task, the hosts continued to collect landmarks, including England's best 10th-wicket tally of 130, by Wilfred Rhodes and RE Foster in 1903.
An impudent uppercut off Ishant Sharma took Anderson past his previous Test best of 34 and a full-blooded drive in the same over hauled him past 40 for the first time in his professional career.
The hundred stand followed - marking the first time in history that both sides have managed such a feat in a Test.
Anderson was put down on 45 when he fended Shami to Murali Vijay and he made sure he cashed in, bringing up his half-century with his best impression of a commanding pull.
That Anderson had made the landmark was unlikely, that he did so in 61 balls was positively bizarre.
The runs slowed down as India settled for grossly defensive fields and England declied to attack, but Anderson levelled the scores with a crisp driven four off Vijay's part-time spin.
The umpires took an extra half-hour before lunch but India, bedraggled, embarrassed and chronically short of ideas could not summon the breakthrough.
Instead, by the time Anderson cracked a weary Ishant for his 14th boundary he was left pondering the prospect of an unlikely ton.
As it was the interval did for him, as he failed to add to his tally in 12 balls before being held in the cordon.