Free Press Journal

England take 215-run lead against India


Manchester: England consolidated their position by taking a massive 215-run lead as they ended their first innings at 367 on day three of the fourth Test against India, here today.

Resuming on 237 for six, Jos Buttler (70 runs, 130b, 10X4) struck his second Test fifty in two matches as he put on 134 runs for the seventh wicket with Joe Root (77 runs, 161b, 7X4) to frustrate the visitors.

Post-lunch, Stuart Broad (12 retired hurt) came out to bat with the intent of hitting out for a quick few runs, and he started off well as he smacked successive sixes off Varun Aaron (3/97) in the 98th over of the innings.

But the third ball was a bit quicker and he edged it straight through his helmet grill. It left him with a bloody nose, and the all-rounder went off the field for stitches, and is not expected to bowl soon in the Indian second innings.

The last pair of James Anderson (9) and Chris Woakes (26 not out, 39b, 3X4) then added 29 as India waited for either of them to get out, bowling too short and wide, or for the declaration to come.

It reflected on a negative mind-set that was apparent since the first ball of the morning session.

Finally, Ravindra Jadeja (1/36) saw off Anderson in the 106th over and Broad’s retirement meant the innings was over with the hosts in driver’s seat.

Earlier, Pankaj Singh (2/113) managed to get his maiden Test wicket and then added a second to his list.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/75) and Aaron couldn’t add to their tallies from the first two days. Strangely enough Ravichandra Ashwin (0/29) didn’t get a bowl on the third day until the last pair was at the crease.

After only 36 overs were bowled on day two with nearly two sessions of play lost, the match began on schedule this morning with blue sky appearing in patches. India needed to get some early wickets, while England seemed intent on batting only once in this game.

Root and Buttler started off slowly, the former reaching his fifty in the second over of the day, off 103 balls with five fours. They added only 14 runs in the first 10 overs, as the fielding side waited for the second new ball.