Mohammed Siraj's late strikes hand India famous win in Lord's Test

Fast bowlers secure 151-run victory over England in second Test on Monday

Amid the wild-eyed mania with which India welcomed victory over England in the Lord’s Test, it was a surprise Mohammed Siraj had the wherewithal to think.

He has just set the seal on an epic, final-hour win with a perfect delivery that clipped the top of James Anderson’s off stump, to set the party in motion.

As he charged through to celebrate with whoever could grab hold of him first, he remembered to swoop and collect a stump. Savvy move. It will be a souvenir of a triumph for the ages for India.

The bare facts were it gave the tourists a 151-run win and a 1-0 series lead. But it meant so much more than that, given the fire and brimstone of the five days leading up to it.

Siraj took four in the innings, and eight in the match. No place on the honours board, maybe, but that was offset by the fact he was a central figure in one of India’s most famous Test wins.

As was his pace colleague Jasprit Bumrah, who took three wickets as England were bowled out for 120 in just over 51 overs.

It stood to reason that Bumrah would be a central figure on the final day with the ball – but with the bat? Few saw that coming, even if his appearance at the crease was eagerly awaited.

There was a reason for that. Bumrah had invoked the ire of the home players with a series of fierce bouncers to Anderson in a 10-ball over at the end of England’s first innings.

When he got his turn to bat, England were intent on getting in to him. The normally good-natured Mark Wood bounced him first ball, and followed up with an uncharacteristic spray of words.

Shortly after, Michael Gough, the umpire, had to intervene in a heated discussion between Bumrah and Jos Buttler, the England wicketkeeper. Meanwhile Virat Kohli, the India captain, shouted his own thoughts on the situation from the away team balcony.

All of which was the seminal point of the day, the moment when any semblance of a chance to push for victory leached away from England.

It was schoolyard stuff, as they were entirely distracted by the man rather than the match situation.

While they set about trying to scone Bumrah – and they did, twice – the unheralded Indian batting duo set about building a score that would take the game beyond the home team.

In the space of 20 overs, Bumrah and Mohammed Shami put on 89. Each of them posted their best Test score.

For Bumrah, his 34 took his Test career runs tally past his career wickets tally. Shami, for his part, hit his second Test half-century, sending one huge six into the second tier of the grandstand in the process.

To add salt to England’s wounds, captain Kohli let the duo carry on their merry way for two overs after the lunch break, before calling them in and declaring.

It left England a nominal target of 272 in 60 overs to chase. It was the sort of target that would be no sweat in a one-day international, but England opted out of a far more benevolent target in the first Test at Lord’s this summer, against New Zealand.

The idea that they would go for it was fanciful enough. Then factor in the fact they made a start to their chase that was so poor it was record breaking.

Rory Burns and Dom Sibley both made ducks, the first time both England’s openers had done so in the same innings in a home Test in history.

Despite the bleak start, England did hint the could fight it out. But India struck at vital moments. They made the first successful review of the Test match on the final ball before tea, to dismiss Jonny Bairstow.

In the first over after the break, they removed the rock that was Joe Root. Although Buttler dug in, he was unable to stave of the inevitable, as India sealed the win with the overs ticking away.

Updated: August 16th 2021, 6:13 PM
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