Indian bowlers hit back but England stay ahead

Indian bowlers hit back but England stay ahead

Mohd Shami celebrates after trapping Joe Root leg before.

Indian bowlers opened up the vulnerable England top order but the hosts still stayed in control of the proceedings at lunch on the third day of the second Test here at Lord’s on Saturday.

After being bowled out for paltry 107 in admittedly hostile conditions, the Indians needed a fine bowling performance to even keep themselves in the contest. Mohammed Shami (2/27) and Ishant Sharma (1/26) did exactly that after a poor start to reduce England to 89/4 in 24.4 overs at lunch.

Both Shami and Ishant took a while to adjust to the slope and the sunny weather but once they settled down, they started to trouble England openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings. Shami dismissed Jennings just when the game started to drift away from the Indians. The England opener, who seemed like he was getting a move on, showed no footwork to an in-swinging delivery and was caught plumb in front of the wicket. Bizarrely he reviewed it but he knew he was a sitting duck.

Ishant, who bowled three poor overs at the start from over the wicket before switching to around, then prised out Cook with a fine out-swinger. Experienced Cook couldn’t resist a drive to the pitched up ball only to edge it to wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.

Kohli then summoned Kuldeep Yadav but the chinaman bowler was ineffective. He had Joe Root and debutante Ollie Pope guessing on a few occasions but was ordinary for the most part and the two English batsmen dealt with him nicely, either sweeping or driving him.

Kohli brought on Hardik Pandya, the third seamer in the attack, but he was pedestrian at the start as well. With the sun shining brightly and conditions friendly for batting, it looked India could be in for a long day. But the visitors struck twice just before lunch to give themselves hope.

Pandya, bowling from wide of the crease, trapped Pope with a ball that nipped back in before Shami got the crucial wicket of Root, also leg before, just at the stroke of lunch.


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