Thakur's 31-ball half-century was the quickest in Test cricket

TOP SPIN AT THE TEST: Shardul Thakur’s 31-ball half-century was the quickest in Test cricket in England as he overtakes Ian Botham

  • The fourth Test of the series between England and India is finely poised 
  • There was a late flourish from Shardul Thakur to help India to a score of 191
  • He beat Ian Botham by one ball, reaching his 50 in just 31 deliveries 

The first day of the fourth Test between England and India was as compelling as the rest of the series has been so far.   

A late dismissal of Joe Root gave the tourists a huge boost heading into Friday but England only trail by 138 with three wickets down. 

Here, Sportsmail’s Lawrence Booth takes a look at some of the key stats from the first day’s play at the Kia Oval.  

England and India played out a thrilling first day of the fourth Test at the Kia Oval 

James Anderson has now removed Cheteshwar Pujara in every first innings of this series, for scores of 4, 9, 1 and 4.

England have won the toss in 61 Oval Tests, and chosen to bat 52 times. 

Of the previous eight occasions on which they have opted to bowl first, they have won just twice: by eight wickets against Pakistan in 1967, and by an innings and 244 against India in 2014.

Shardul Thakur’s 31-ball half-century was the quickest in Test cricket in England, beating Ian Botham’s 32-ball fifty against New Zealand at The Oval in 1986.

Jasprit Bumrah was the eighth player to be run out without facing a ball in a Test against England – and the first since Australia’s Simon Katich at Adelaide in 2010-11.

Ollie Robinson continued the stellar start to his Test career. Figures of three for 38 from 17.3 overs took his overall haul to 26 wickets at just 17.

The day after he went to the top of the ICC Test rankings, Joe Root’s 21 was his lowest score of the series, and means he cannot top-score in six successive innings.


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