India vs England: Pankaj Singh strikes at last

Manchester: India`s Pankaj Singh finally took his first Test wicket when he dismissed England`s Joe Root on the third day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The tall paceman had threatened to become the most expensive wicketless bowler in Test history.

His return of none for 179 in England`s 266-run victory in the third Test at Southampton, a result that levelled the five-match series at 1-1, saw him record the most expensive figures by a Test match debutant without a wicket.

Added to his Friday figures, that left the 6ft 6in Singh with an overall Test record of none for 258.

But when he had Root caught gloving down the legside by India captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 77, the 29-year-old Rajasthan paceman had taken his first Test wicket, albeit he had conceded 274 runs in the process.

When Root was dismissed, Singh`s innings figures stood at one for 95 in 22.2 overs.

Singh, a key figure in Rajasthan`s run to the first Ranji Trophy they ever won in 2010/11 and again in 2011/12, soon had reason to be smiling again.

He deceived Jos Buttler (77) with a well-disguised slower ball the wicketkeeper chipped straight to Cheteshwar Pujara at mid-off.

Buttler`s exit meant that, after a lengthy wait, Singh had now taken two wickets for four runs in the space of just 15 balls.

Singh eventually finished with an innings return of two for 113 in 28 overs.

That gave him overall Test career figures of two for 292 in 75 overs at an expensive average of 146 but with a respectable economy rate of under four runs an over.

The record for most runs conceded by a bowler without taking a Test wicket is held by Bangladesh medium-pacer Anwar Hossain Monir, with none for 307 in three matches from 2003-2005.

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