The ‘Battle of the Eras’ Virtual Test flickered for a moment and threatened to produce a thrilling finish, but in the end a victory target of 347 proved too steep for Nasser Hussain’s XI, who lost to Rob Key’s XI by 76 runs despite a first Lord’s Test century for Sachin Tendulkar.
Key’s seamers did the damage, none more so than Pat Cummins, who ended with figures of 5-71 to show why he is currently the top-ranked bowler by a wide margin in the ICC’s Test bowling rankings.
The Australian was well-supported by fellow fast men James Anderson and Dale Steyn as the final wicket fell with just under 30 overs left in the match.
- Watch Nasser and Key pick their teams on YouTube
- PODCAST: How the Virtual Test teams were picked
However, in defeat, Tendulkar gave the Monday Lord’s crowd something to remember him by – having failed to even reach fifty on his five previous Test appearances at HQ from 1990 to 2011, he finally corrected the perceived injustice of his never having appeared on the famous Honours Boards.
Early progress was sedate from the overnight pair of Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis, and they reached the morning drinks interval still together. However, it was Cummins who produced the first breakthrough of the day, trapping Kallis lbw with the second delivery after the break.
Benedict’s Virtual Simulation
Sky Sports statistician Benedict Bermange used a cricket simulation that takes into account batting averages, strike-rates, bowling averages and bowling speeds and played out a five-day Test match based on those figures.
How were the sides picked?
To mark 30 years of cricket on Sky Sports, Nasser picked his world XI from players in the first 15 years of our coverage, leaving Rob to select players from the most recent 15 years.
Nathan Lyon twirled away for the entire second hour of play but, while keeping the scoring rate under control, he was unable to repeat his magic from the previous day when he removed Brian Lara.
Tendulkar and Adam Gilchrist lunched at 180-5 and when the Indian maestro took 10 runs from the first over after the interval from Cummins, there was more than a hint of worry among the fielding side.
Captain Graeme Smith always knew he would have a second bite of the cherry with the second new ball and it proved to be a lethal weapon in the hands of the kings of swing Steyn and Anderson.
Steyn rearranged Adam Gilchrist’s stumps for the second time in the match and Wasim Akram didn’t hang around for long, edging Anderson to Ben Stokes at fourth slip.
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