Gritty Stuart Binny hits 78 as first Test heading towards draw

Written by PTI | Nottingham | Updated: Jul 14 2014, 02:24am hrs
Stuart Binny justified his selection with a gutsy half-century on debut against England as he got India out of the dumps in the first cricket Test, which is meandering towards a predictable draw.

Courtesy Binny's well-made 78 off 114 balls, India reached 347 for eight at tea to take their overall lead to 308 as it ended any hopes that Alastair Cook and his men harboured of a win.

Binny, who came in after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's dismissal, showed fantastic temperament as he bailed India out of trouble with a crucial 65 run stand for the seventh wicket with an over-cautious Ravindra Jadeja (31).

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (31 batting) also proved an ideal foil for Binny as they added 91 runs for the eighth wicket to shut doors on a possible English victory.

India were precariously placed at 184 for six with a lead of 145 when Binny and Jadeja joined forces. However the debutant in company of Saurashtra all-rounder did well enough to negotiate a good spell of bowling from James Anderson and Stuart Broad, asking questions.

A copybook crouching cover drive off Liam Plunkett marked his arrival and it was followed by a well balanced pull-shot behind the square and a backfoot cover drive.

Even after Jadeja departed caught by Matt prior off Anderson, Binny didn't do away with his positive approach as he reached his half-century with a couple of boundaries followed by two singles in 86 balls.

Once the baptism was over, Binny looked in control as he feated on friendly off-breaks bowled by Moeen Ali. He reverse swept him as well as hit an inside out cover drive. He also hit Ali over extra cover for a flat six as one expected him to complete a ton on debut.

But Ali coming from round the wicket trapped him infront as Kumar Dharmasena raised the dreaded finger. The TV replays showed that the delivery would have missed the leg-stump.

Binny's innings had eight fours and a six. As he walked back to the pavilion, India's lead had swelled to 301 and the match had well been saved.