By BV Swagath
The Lord’s Test continues to be in the balance as India fought their way out to take their overall lead to 145 runs with six wickets in hand. Murali Vijay is holding one end with a patient knock of 59* from 190 balls with 7 fours along with Skipper MS Dhoni who has survived 51 balls to score an unbeaten 12.
The evening session saw England get back into the contest with three quick wickets at the cost of just five runs. Liam Plunkett started the slide taking the wickets of Pujara and Kohli in consecutive deliveries. Pujara was caught behind for 43 by an outswinger while Kohli was out for a golden duck leaving an inducker.
Stuart Broad complemented Plunkett with the big wicket of first innings centurion Rahane. It was a nasty lifter from Broad which was fended off by Rahane to the keeper down the legside but replays showed that the Umpire wrongly gave it out as the ball had only come off the arm guard.
India were 123 for 4 when Dhoni joined Vijay with the lead at just 99 runs! Thankfully the unbroken stand of 46 between Vijay and Dhoni got India back in the game.
Update at Tea on Day 3: England are under pressure to bowl out India quickly who have steadily taken their second innings total of 84 for 1 in 31 overs. Opener Murali Vijay has looked patient in defending and leaving the balls in his 21 not out from 89 balls. Giving him company is Cheteshwar Pujara who is on 25* from 52 balls.
India’s only loss in the afternoon session was the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan (31 from 45 balls) whose spanking cut off Ben Stokes was caught by the diving Joe Root at backward point. By Tea, India has got into a lead of 60 runs with 9 wickets in hand.
Update at Lunch on Day 3: India did a good job to restrict England’s first innings lead to 24 and by lunch keeping all its wickets intact. Bhuvneshwar Kumar did the finishing job superbly taking a career best of 6 for 82 while Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with a wicket each today.
The first breakthrough of the morning came when Matt Prior’s ambitious pull off Shami was brilliantly caught by Shikhar Dhawan who ran backwards from slips. Prior added 21 runs to his overnight score of 2*. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then gave a quick wicket by going through the defences of Ben Stokes. Stuart Broad was caught in the slips playing a flashy cut off the same bowler leaving the hosts at 280 for 9.
The last wicket partnership of Liam Plunkett and James Anderson did extremely well to take England into the lead. Plunkett who had come in as the night watchman yesterday went on to score his maiden Test fifty. He remained unbeaten on 55 from 79 balls with 8 fours while James Anderson (19) was caught at slip off Jadeja in a reverse sweep.
By lunch, India got to 11 for no loss in 4 overs with Shikhar Dhawan scoring 10 of those runs and Murali Vijay yet to open his account.