Man of the day
Jos Buttler gave himself an excellent 28th birthday present by making a superb 89, which included two spectacular sixes in three balls from Jasprit Bumrah. It completed a breakthrough summer when Buttler learned to stop worrying and to love red- ball cricket. It also put him one up on the retiring Alastair Cook, who has never scored a run on his birthday. Th ere’s a good reason for that: he was born on 25 December.
Villain of the day
Boris Johnson, who tried to escape his personal and professional woes by having a day at the cricket. He appeared twice on the big screen at the Oval – and was booed each time. Th e Sky Sports commentator David Gower, noting an empty seat next to Johnson, drily observed that: “He appears to be on his own.” Johnson eventually delivered the will of the people by leaving the ground.
Hanuma Vihari had a lively start to his Test career and could twice have been out LBW to Stuart Broad before he had scored. Th e fi rst appeal, given not out, would have been overturned had England reviewed. Th e second, given out, was overturned when Vahari reviewed. It was an eccentric debut innings from Vahari, whose fi rst boundary in Test cricket was a top- edged six over fi ne leg off Ben Stokes.
Stat of the day
Th e wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara was James Anderson’s 106th in Tests against India – a record. He moved past Sri Lanka’s rubber- wristed genius Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 105 wickets against them. Anderson picked up Ajinkya Rahane soon after, but the one wicket he really wanted – Virat Kohli – proved elusive. Kohli survived a desperately close review for LBW from the third delivery Anderson bowled to him. Rob Smyth