When Joe Root and James Anderson came together with England on 298-9, many would have been feeling that the hosts were about to concede a massive first-innings lead.
What followed was absolutely extraordinary, as the Yorkshire batsman and the Lancashire tailender put on a sensational stand of 198 to take England into the lead.
It had seemed improbable when they came together late on Friday, but after seeing out the day and then batting through the entire morning session on Saturday, they managed to put together a partnership that broke all kinds of records.
With England seemingly in all kinds of trouble, they may well have rescued the game for their side.
The Partnership: Key Numbers
|Runs||Overs||Run Rate||Root's Runs||Anderson's Runs||Extras||Start||End|
|198||53.2||3.71||104||81||13||298-9 (91.3 overs)||496-10 (144.5 overs)|
Anderson’s 81 was his first-ever half-century and highest score in Test cricket, more than his previous best of 34 against South Africa at Headingley in 2008.
In addition, it is also Anderson’s highest-ever score in first-class cricket, beating his previous best of 37 not out made for Lancashire.
Finally, the 230 minutes that Anderson spent at the crease is the longest innings in terms of time by a No. 11.
This match has also broken new ground, as it is the first time that two No. 11s have made fifties, after Mohammed Shami reached the landmark for India in the first innings.
Finally, the pair’s record stand combined with the partnership of 111 between Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar means that this game is the first time that two partnerships for the 10th wicket have exceeded 100 runs.
Root and Anderson rescued their side from what could have been a losing position, and while the game is not over by any means, England now look much stronger.
It was a partnership that will live long in the memory, and it puts the hosts in a place where they can possibly push on for a victory in this game.
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