NOTTINGHAM England (Reuters) - England pair Joe Root and James Anderson broke the all-time test record for a 10th-wicket partnership on Saturday but the first test against India at Trent Bridge looks like ending in a draw.
The home team took an unlikely 39-run lead on first innings after Root and Anderson combined for a remarkable stand of 198, beating the previous test best by 35, to lead their side to a total of 496.
England then grabbed two late wickets to reduce India to 167 for three at the close of play.
Murali Vijay (52), who made a century in the first innings, and Cheteshwar Pujara (55) both fell in the last hour to leave the visitors 128 runs ahead.
Part-time spinner Moeen Ali claimed two wickets and paceman Liam Plunkett one. Virat Kohli (eight) and Ajinkya Rahane (18) were the not-out batsmen when stumps were drawn.
Vijay and Pujara put on 91 for the second wicket until the latter cut Plunkett to Ben Stokes at point and the fielder hung on after initially fumbling the catch.
"On a pitch like that, that is quite unresponsive, if you play selectively like we did it's hard to get out," Root told Sky Sports television.
"I actually quite enjoyed batting with Jimmy. It's the only time he's nice to me. He's normally quite grumpy and having a go at me so it makes a nice change.
"Tomorrow we're going to have to bowl very well and get a few early wickets, then you never know," added Root who also made 200 not out against Sri Lanka last month. The day belonged to Yorkshireman Root and 31-year-old Lancastrian Anderson, who produced the best score by an England number 11.
England began the day on 352 for nine and the pair had to ride their luck on occasions.
The 23-year-old Root was the backbone of the innings, farming the strike in brilliant fashion as he registered his fourth test century to rescue his team after they had collapsed to 202 for seven on Friday.
Fast bowler Anderson carved out a career-best score until he edged the ball to Dhawan at first slip off Bhuvneshwar Kumar who returned test-best figures of five for 82.
"I had really good fun today," said the Lancastrian. "It's probably the first time I've really enjoyed batting.
"It was a great effort. We just seemed to get on a roll last night and overnight we both thought that we could actually annoy the Indians today and stay out there a little bit.
"Obviously we didn't think anything like this could happen. We knew we still had a job to do this morning and we stuck at it brilliantly," said Anderson.
"I wouldn't say it was easy but it was such a slow pitch that you knew there was only a few ways you could get out. If you had a good game plan you could stick in there."
The record partnership meant it was the first time in tests that both sides had compiled last-wicket stands of three figures, following Kumar and Mohammed Shami's alliance of 111 on Thursday.
Australia's Phil Hughes and Ashton Agar shared the previous record for the last-wicket stand when they put on 163 against England, ironically at the same ground last year.
Root struck 15 fours in his 400-minute vigil while Anderson hit 17 fours in his 230-minute knock.
India have not won a test away from home since 2011 while England have lost six of their last seven matches in the longest form of the game.
There has not been a test draw at Trent Bridge since 2002.
(Reporting by Sam Holden, editing by Tony Jimenez)