Alastair Cook made a sterling bid to mark his final Test with his 33rd century, but it was not to be at The Oval on Friday.
Here, Press Association Sport traces the opener’s fortunes before and during what is likely to be his penultimate international innings.
10.13am – Cook is presented with his commemorative 161st England cap by his former captain and opening partner Andrew Strauss. Colin Graves, England and Wales Cricket Board chairman alongside director Strauss, is also present to address the record-breaker after the team huddle.
10.30am – Joe Root, Cook’s successor as captain, wins the toss and chooses to bat first in glorious conditions. Cook has his chance to immediately put his stamp on his own valedictory match.
10.46am – The first standing ovation of the day as the big screens round The Oval reference a Professional Cricketers’ Association video tribute from many of the 74 different players with whom Cook has shared his Test career. The PA announcer invites a sell-out crowd to show its appreciation and the majority of those already present are on their feet to do so.
11am – To the strains of England’s modern-tradition entrance theme ‘Jerusalem’, India form a guard-of-honour welcome for Cook as he walks out to bat with Keaton Jennings. Once again, of course, the crowd is upstanding in applause. Cook takes first ball and duly leaves a wide one from Jasprit Bumrah well alone.
11.06am – At the other end, he gets off the mark from his eighth delivery with a cover-drive for three off Ishant Sharma.
11.15am – First boundary calms any remaining nerves, a trademark clip off his pads past midwicket off Ishant again.
11.40am – Rolling back the years now, with successive back-foot fours off Bumrah – the old Cook one-two, square-cut and then resounding pull.
11.50am – On 17, Cook is possibly short of his ground responding to a single. The throw from the ring is too wide and weak, though, to be sure.
12.29pm – A single off his legs from the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja takes him to 30, his highest score of the series in his eighth innings.
1.51pm – Without addition to his lunchtime 37, he is reprieved after edging Ishant low but straight to gully – where Ajinkya Rahane puts down a regulation chance.
2.10pm – After almost 10 overs, and 21 balls faced, he finally makes his next run – a single to square-leg off Ishant taking him to 38.
3pm – He pokes two runs down the ground off Mohammed Shami to reach his half-century from 139 balls and in 202 minutes. Crowd rises.
4.22pm – Anti-climax as Cook edges a delivery from Bumrah back down on to his stumps to go for 71, having batted for 190 balls. He receives another standing ovation for his trouble, but his day is done – and England’s has taken a significant turn for the worse.