In­dia set for first in­nings lead af­ter Eng­land fight­back

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Half-cen­turies by Vi­rat Kohli, Chetesh­war Pu­jara and Ravichandran Ash­win kept In­dia on course for a first in­nings lead af­ter Eng­land made a spir­ited come­back on day two of the third Test yes­ter­day. Hav­ing bowled out Eng­land for 283 ear­lier in the morn­ing, In­dia looked in charge at 148-2 at tea be­fore Adil Rashid’s dou­ble strike jolted the hosts who lost three wick­ets in 19 balls to slump to 156-5.

Ash­win en­hanced his new-found bat­ting rep­u­ta­tion with an un­beaten 57 while all-rounder Ravin­dra Jadeja was bat­ting on 31 at stumps with In­dia trail­ing by 12 runs.

“I’d say we’ve re­cov­ered re­ally well and we’ve an ad­van­tage be­cause two of our all­rounders are play­ing,” Pu­jara told re­porters.

“We’d be look­ing to get a lead of around 75-100 runs... As you saw in the last game, (num­ber nine) Jayant Ya­dav can also bat.

“Our lower or­der has been con­tribut­ing in all test matches and we ex­pect them to con­trib­ute to­mor­row as well,” Pu­jara added.

Pace­man Mo­hammed Shami claimed the last two English wick­ets ear­lier in the morn­ing as the tourists added 15 runs to their overnight score be­fore be­ing dis­missed for 283.

Mu­rali Vi­jay walked out with Parthiv Pa­tel, his third open­ing part­ner of the se­ries, to lead In­dia’s re­ply and it turned out to be an event­ful yet brief stay for the righthander.

Vi­jay sur­vived an ob­struct­ing-the-field ap­peal, was dropped by Jos But­tler and the bats­man even­tu­ally walked off, nick­ing a harm­less Ben Stokes de­liv­ery even though um­pire Chris Gaf­faney did not spot the nick. Pa­tel, by con­trast, looked de­ter­mined to make the most of his chance re­turn to the In­dian side af­ter eight years in the wilder­ness.

MID­DLE OR­DER COL­LAPSE

The diminu­tive 31-year-old, re­plac­ing in­jured reg­u­lar wick­et­keeper Wrid­dhi­man Saha, smacked six bound­aries in his 42 be­fore Adil Rashid dis­missed him leg­be­fore. Pu­jara and Kohli then joined forces to frus­trate the tourists with the steady ac­cu­mu­la­tion of 75 runs for the third wicket. Dropped on 35 by Jonny Bairstow, Pu­jara went on to make 51 be­fore falling to a Rashid long-hop and his dis­missal sparked off a mid­dle or­der col­lapse.

Rashid, in his next over, trapped the score­less Ajinkya Ra­hane leg-be­fore with a goo­gly and Karun Nair’s test de­but was soured af­ter his almighty mix-up with Kohli. But­tler was out­stand­ing at back­ward point, div­ing to stop the ball and then throw­ing down the stumps to send back Nair for four.

Kohli showed tremen­dous re­straint for ma­jor part of his knock, es­pe­cially as Eng­land at­tacked him with a heav­i­ly­packed off-side, but he even­tu­ally fell to a soft dis­missal, edg­ing Stokes be­hind the wicket. Kohli’s 62 in­cluded nine bound­aries.

Ash­win hit eight bound­aries in his un­beaten knock, hav­ing raised 67 runs with Jadeja for the sev­enth wicket. “271 for six, we’ll take that at the end of the day. We bowled ex­cep­tion­ally well as a team,” legspin­ner Rashid, who claimed 3-81, said.

“We stuck to our plans and we got re­wards at the end ses­sion. They got a lit­tle part­ner­ship but you know it hap­pens in cricket. But we come back to­mor­row and knock them over.”— Reuters

MO­HALI: Eng­land’s Ben Stokes bowls on the sec­ond day of their third cricket Test match against In­dia in Mo­hali, In­dia, yes­ter­day. — AP

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