Cook livens up drab draw

Hampshire Chronicle: Alastair Cook was unable to lead England to victory but did celebrate a first Test wicket Alastair Cook was unable to lead England to victory but did celebrate a first Test wicket

The first Investec Test between England and India ended in a comical rather than dramatic draw as the tourists batted out the final day on a lifeless Trent Bridge track.

What had long looked likely to end with honours even was trundling towards its inevitable conclusion when under-pressure England skipper Alastair Cook chose to up the entertainment value by bowling two overs that included loose impressions of England players of years gone by.

It drew much mirth and - remarkably - one of the least expected wickets in Test history as Ishant Sharma was given caught behind to a leg-side strangle, but also gave a fitting element of farce to a game that has been contested on a grim and unresponsive surface.

Long before Cook's crowd-pleasing silliness, his side briefly threatened to produce an unlikely victory push in the first hour.

They took three wickets in that period, Stuart Broad accounting for overnight batsmen Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in an inspired spell and Liam Plunkett toppling India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni with his first ball of the day.

But, if they were wobbling at 184 for six, stands of 65 and 91 for the seventh and eighth wicket steadied India.

Debutant Stuart Binny was involved in both, making a composed 78, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck his second half-century of the match from number nine.

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