India put hosts on the backfoot early on 3rd day

  • England-India Test Series
- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, SOUTHAMPTON

Sep 2, 2018-

England were 152-5 in their second innings, a lead of 125 runs, at tea on the third day of the fourth Test against India at Southampton on Saturday.

Ben Stokes was 20 not out and Jos Buttler 22 not out. Earlier, Mohammed Shami dismissed Keaton Jennings with what became the last ball before lunch.

It had looked as if the under-pressure Jennings would bat through the session until paceman Shami, from round the wicket, had him leg before wicket (LBW) for 36. England reviewed, more in hope than expectation, but with Jennings trapped on the crease the original decision of Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford was upheld.

England started Saturday’s play on 6-0. They were then 21 runs behind, after Cheteshwar Pujara’s excellent 132 not out, his maiden Test century in England, had guided India to a first-innings total of 273, with recalled off-spinner Moeen Ali taking 5-63.

Alastair Cook (two not out), England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, and fellow left-handed opener Jennings (four not out) were both in need of runs. But Cook fell for just 12 runs when, drawn into driving at a full and wide Jasprit Bumrah delivery, he got an outside edge that second slip KL Rahul clung onto at the third attempt. England were now 24-1 and that was soon transformed into 33-2.

Ali, surprisingly promoted to number three instead of Root, became the latest victim of Ishant Sharma’s excellent bowling to left-handed batsmen from around the wicket when he pushed loosely at a ball that pitched on middle stump and saw a resulting edge superbly caught low down by Rahul.

Root came in at No 4 and had made eight when he saw India’s review of Bumrah’s LBW appeal turned down on the grounds the ball was going over the top of the stumps. The England skipper, getting his foot to the pitch of the ball, square-drove Bumrah for four.

Jennings reverse swept and then swept two fours in succesive balls from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to revive memories of his hundred on debut, against India in Mumbai two years ago. Root drove Shami down the ground for a boundary but it was India who ended the second session on top with two more wickets.

Published: 02-09-2018 09:01

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