Stuart Broad delivered the most expensive over in Test history as stand-in India captain Jasprit Bumrah dictated terms with bat and ball against England at Edgbaston.
Regular rain interruptions meant the second day of this rearranged series decider was a truncated affair, but Bumrah ensured it was an eventful occasion that ended with the tourists well ahead.
As a No 10 batter, he did the majority of the damage as Broad gave up a record 35 runs in the penultimate over of India’s first innings, seven more than the previous high, before rattling through England’s top order.
Roaring in fresh after every rain break, the first-time skipper was a constant menace as he accounted for each of England’s top three in turn. By the close the hosts were struggling to stay afloat, on 84-5 and well adrift in reply to 416 all out.
India had started on 338-7 and piled on another 78 runs at breakneck speed, taking just 11.5 overs to do the damage. Ravindra Jadeja breezily converted his overnight score of 83 into a third Test hundred but, having played second fiddle to Rishabh Pant’s 146 on day one, he soon found his fine effort outshone.
India were nine down when he lost his middle stump to James Anderson and Mohammed Shami was caught at fine third man, a wicket that made Broad the sixth bowler ever to reach 550 scalps.
That achievement has been 15 years in the making, but it is unlikely to be his abiding memory of the day. Just a few minutes later, newly-armed with a fresh Dukes ball against a last-wicket pair, he had a mini-meltdown for the ages.
Broad’s six legal deliveries, mostly short and erratic, were pummelled for 23 as Bumrah heaved his way to four fours and a six. But the 36-year-old also served up a set of five wides that sailed over wicketkeeper Sam Billings’ head as well as a no-ball that Bumrah top-edged for six more.
Things could have been even worse had another high full-toss been called, but umpire Aleem Dar spared Broad the additional pain. It was not Broad’s costliest visit in international cricket, with Yuvraj Singh slapping him for six sixes in a T20 back in 2013, but in Test terms it was a huge outlier.
The previous record stood at 28 and had been achieved on three occasions, with Broad’s team-mates Anderson and Joe Root bowling two of the overs in question. Broad did not get a chance to make amends with the ball but did catch Mohammed Siraj off Anderson’s next over to end the India innings.
Just three overs of the reply were possible before the weather turned for the first time, but even that was enough for Bumrah to keep India’s foot to the floor. A no-ball gave him one more delivery before the players were hurried off the field and, with majestic timing, he snuck it between Alex Lees’ bat and pad to make a mess of the left-hander’s stumps.
Play resumed after an early, extended lunch break and and it took a refreshed Bumrah just five minutes to double his haul, adding to out-of-form opener Zak Crawley’s catalogue of low scores.
He departed in familiar, frustrating fashion, trusting a drive that has consistently let him down and nicking through to the secure hands of Shubman Gill. He trudged off for nine, his 23rd single-figure score in 45 Test innings.
England have repeatedly pledged their faith in the Kent batter, but it is becoming increasingly hard to see a way out of his slump without first withdrawing from the highest level.
Bumrah and Shami were once again halted in their tracks by more showers, but as soon as the covers came off they were back to business. Root just about had the technique and temperament to hang in, but Ollie Pope pushed at a delivery a foot outside off stump and squirted a catch to third slip for 10.
At 60-3, England looked to be done for the day, but clear skies broke out long enough to get an extra hour’s play between 6pm and 7pm. It cost them two further wickets, Root finally seeing off India’s strike bowlers with a hard-fought 31 only to go caught behind when Siraj belatedly entered the fray with intent.
Somewhat surprisingly Ben Stokes sent out a nightwatchman in the shape of Jack Leach, but the tactic came undone when he nicked the deserving Shami behind.