India tottering at 9/2 against England

London, Aug 17:

India’s woes continued as they were tottering at 9/2 in their second innings — trailing England by 329 runs — at lunch on the third day’s play in the fifth and final cricket Test at The Oval here Sunday.

Gautam Gambhir: Out cheaply again
Gautam Gambhir: Out cheaply again

Earlier in the morning, England were bowled out for 486 runs shortly after an hour’s play but not before taking a massive first innings lead of 338 runs. Then the hosts made sure they scalped both Indian openers Murali Vijay (2) and Gautam Gambhir (3) before going in to lunch.

Resuming the day at 385/7, the England lower order put on another 101 runs in only 11.3 overs in the first session as middle-order batsman Joe Root (149 not out) scored his second century of the series.

Root started the day at 92 not out and brought up his fifth Test century after which he opened up to score at more than a run a ball. However, while accelerating, Root dragged an Ishant Sharma delivery to the stumps while batting on 110.

He was on his way to the pavilion when replays showed that Ishant’s left foot was over the crease, making the delivery illegal and Root was lucky to return to the crease.

The 23-year-old Yorkshireman took advantage of the situation and increased the scoring rate suddenly making his strike rate jump to a staggering 90.3. In total, he hammered 18 boundaries and a six in his 165-ball knock to bring up his third highest Test score.

He was given good support by left hander Stuart Broad who also played a quick cameo of 37 off just 21 balls to propel England to a strong total.

Night watchman Chris Jordan put on only one run on the board Sunday before getting out for 20 and last man in James Anderson scored only one more run before being found leg before wicket by Ravichandran Ashwin.

Pacer Ishant was the pick of the Indian bowlers clinching 4/96 including two wickets Sunday while offie Ashwin wrapped up the England innings to end with figures of 3/72.

After having been bowled out for a dismal 148, India were looking for a strong start in their second innings. But it was the same story all over again as Vijay and Gambhir perished in the first 6.1 overs, just when the skies opened up leading the umpires to call for an early lunch.


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