London, July 21 :
After struggling to pick up a wicket all morning, pacer Ishant Sharma struck on the final ball of the session to revive Indian hopes as England were reduced to 173 for five at lunch, still needing 146 runs, on the final day of the second cricket Test at the Lord’s here Monday.
A 101-run partnership between Joe Root (52 not out) and Moeen Ali (39) had threatened to take the game away from India.
But just when things looked bleak for the visitors, Ishant’s aggressive spell had Moeen hopping on the crease and on the final ball, the England spinner tried to fend off another bouncer but managed only to loop an easy catch to short leg.
The England batsmen started the final day at 105 for four and frustrated the Indian bowlers throughout the session.
Scoring just 68 runs from 30 overs was nothing to write home about but the hosts did manage to inch slowly towards the 319-run target.
Moeen Ali had a few close calls, especially off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja but the chances just fell short of the close-in fielders.
Indian bowlers and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled out all the stops but just couldn’t find the breakthrough they so badly craved.
It seemed England would go to lunch unscathed and in command — but Ishant had other ideas.
The lanky pacer peppered the two established batsmen, had both in trouble and was rewarded with his final salvo that brought India back into the game.
India (first innings) 295
England (first innings) 319
India (second innings) 342
England (second innings, overnight 105/4)
Sam Robson lbw b Jadeja 7
Alastair Cook c Dhoni b Sharma 22
Gary Ballance c Dhoni b Mohammed Shami 27
Ian Bell b Sharma 1
Joe Root batting 52
Moeen Ali c Pujara b Sharma 39
Extras (b 9, lb 15, w 1) 25
Total (for five wickets in 76 overs) 173
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Robson, 6.1 overs), 2-70 (Ballance, 28.1), 3-71 (Bell, 29.2), 4-72 (Cook, 31.2), 5-173 (Ali, 75.6)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 16-7-21-0
Mohammed Shami 10-3-23-1
Ishant Sharma 17-6-47-3
Ravindra Jadeja 27-6-45-1
Murali Vijay 4-1-11-0
Shikhar Dhawan 2-0-2-0