At one point in the afternoon session, Ben Stokes accidentally spat on his own shirt. You’d think this would be a low point, but he plucked off the deposit with no obvious display of emotion. Perhaps he knew that things were about to get significantly worse.
Shortly after spraying a loose one over his off side, Stokes used the ball to find the edge of a Yadav’s bat. Alastair Cook – a man who we’re confident has dropped more chances for England than any other outfielder in history – duly did his ball-shelling thing.
Stokes looked ever-so-slightly peeved.
Three balls later, Stokes found the edge of another Yadav’s bat. Jonny Bairstow did that thing where he takes a huge step to the left while diving to the right, so that he doesn’t so much stretch for the ball as rotate around a fulcrum somewhere around his navel. The ball passed right by him.
Stokes looked ever-so-slightly more peeved.
But then the wickets came. The next five Stokes deliveries resulted in two wickets and he finished the innings with five scalps and a greater bowling workload than anyone bar Adil Rashid.
Ben Stokes made tiredness and not-quite-so-big-a-first-innings-deficit-as-might-have-been-expected happen.