Oman Observer

Jadeja leads India fightback in fifth Test

LONDON: A superb unbeaten 86 by Ravindra Jadeja and a debut half century by Hanuma Vihari put India back in contention on the third day of the fifth Test against England at The Oval on Sunday. Having begun the day in a hole on 174-6 in reply to England’s first-innings 332, India were eventually all out for 292 having clawed to within 40 of parity. India’s resistance frustrated James Anderson’s quest to grab the three wickets he needs to overtake Australia’s Glenn McGrath’s all-time Test-wicket record of 563 for a fast bowler. It also delayed the start of England opener Alastair Cook’s 291st and final Test innings.

England’s record Test-run scorer, who scored 71 in the first innings of his record-extending 161st Test, walked out in the sunshine to a loud and prolonged standing ovation as he prepared to bring down the curtain on his 12-year Test career, having announced his international retirement. There was no sentiment from the Indian bowlers, however, as they gave Cook a torrid time before tea. He played and missed several times and took 13 balls to get off the mark with a four nudged off his legs from Jasprit Bumrah, reaching 13 at tea. Fellow opener Keaton Jennings was on seven as England reached 20-0 to stretch their lead to 60.

Jadeja and the 24-year-old Vihari survived a Testing morning as Anderson and Stuart Broad swung the ball both ways under grey skies. But they showed great composure and picked off bad balls in a seventh-wicket partnership of 77. Vihari was eventually out 10 minutes before lunch when he tickled an edge behind off Moeen Ali. — Reuters