Stuart Binny and Bhuvneshwar Kumar hit half-centuries as India secured a draw on the final day of the first Test against England at Trent Bridge.
Binny hit 78 and Kumar 63 not out to guide India to 391-9 in their second innings - a lead of 352 - when their declaration in the evening session brought an early end to the contest - although not before England skipper Alastair Cook had claimed his maiden Test wicket in the final over.
What had long looked likely to end with honours even was trundling towards its inevitable conclusion when Cook chose to up the entertainment value by bowling two overs that included loose impressions of England players of years gone by.
It drew much mirth and - remarkably - one of the least expected wickets as Ishant Sharma was given caught behind to a leg-side strangle, but also gave a fitting element of farce to a game that has been contested on an unresponsive surface.
Long before Cook's crowd-pleasing turn, his side briefly threatened to produce an unlikely victory push when India - on 167-3 overnight - lost three wickets in the first hour, including two for Stuart Broad (2-50).
Binny put paid to that fanciful theory, however, in stands of 65 with Ravindra Jadeja for the seventh wicket and then 91 with Kumar for the eighth.
England, and Broad in particular, briefly found the secret of how to make the most of conditions which confounded bowlers on both sides almost throughout.
The Nottinghamshire seamer began by having Virat Kohli lbw toppling over in defence, and it was swing too that then made Ajinkya Rahane edge behind.
Broad should also have had Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught at slip - where Cook, necessarily advanced to mitigate against the lack of carry, could not hold an obvious chance.
Bowling in tandem with James Anderson (1-47), Broad nonetheless served up an impressive spell of 2-6 in six overs - and when his replacement Liam Plunkett (2-85) ensured Cook's drop would not be costly by defeating Dhoni's loose drive and bowling the India captain with a touch of inswing, it seemed England might just have a shot at victory after all.
Jadeja, however, was in the middle of a curious but valuable innings - and his partnership with Binny took critical time out of England's attempts to force the pace.
The left-hander played and missed numerous times, and needed 38 deliveries to get off the mark - which he eventually did by walking at Anderson and smashing a four back over the bowler's head.
He and Binny stalled England until after lunch when, with the second new ball in his armoury, Anderson had Jadeja pushing slightly away from his front pad and edging another to Matt Prior.
Binny found a second ally in Kumar, however - and as it doubtless dawned on Cook that this game was up, the best he could do was ensure no further pointless exercise for Broad and Anderson with another four Tests to come in the next 37 days.
Binny took advantage, as he and Kumar milked the runs on offer at a rate of more than four-and-a-half an over and he passed his maiden Test 50 in 86 balls.
Moeen Ali (3-105) turned one from round the wicket to beat Binny's forward push and win another lbw verdict.
But by tea the only remaining interest centred on whether India would engineer a situation in which opener Cook batted with time left only to fail again.
They opted against an early declaration, and instead the contest concluded with Cook and Gary Ballance enjoying a rare opportunity to turn their arms over.
For England, who have now gone nine Tests without a win, and Cook in particular, the serious stuff will be starting again soon enough - at Lord's on Thursday.