Friday, February 23, 2024 | Sha'ban 12, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

India strongly placed despite Bairstow’s fine innings

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BIRMINGHAM: Jonny Bairstow’s magnificent form with the bat saw him to his third century in three consecutive Tests and helped England to a first innings total of 284 in reply to India’s 416.


India in the second innings were 26 for the loss of Shubman Gill’s wicket for 4 with James Anderson having him held at slip from the third ball of the innings and the tourists were in an overall lead of 158 shortly before tea.


Resuming on the third morning on the overnight score of 84 for five, Jonny Bairstow, on 12, picked up runs playing freely while Ben Stokes, uncharacteristically, was more cautious with England still trailing by 332. Bairstow brought up the 50 of their partnership with a flicked four off Mohammad Shami and his own half century, his 23rd in Tests, followed in the next over.


Stokes, on 18, had been fortunate to be dropped by Shardul Thakur from a skier at cover off Shami and then again was dropped by Jasprit Bumrah at mid-off. But on 25 his luck ran out on the next ball when he was held with Bumrah making amends for his earlier clanger with the catch at mid-off off Thakur’s first over, having replaced Shami who had conceded 30 from his five overs.


Lunch was taken a quarter of an hour early with rain once again in his match causing a disruption. On resumption, Bairstow drove the first ball to mid-on for four off Thakur to take his score to 95 and then in the bowler’s next over a lovely square drive brought him his third century in three successive Tests.


It followed his score of 162 in the previous (third) Test, against New Zealand at his home ground, Headingley, and 136 prior to that in the second Test at Trent Bridge. The eleventh Test hundred had come quickly from 119 balls and contained 14 fours and two sixes, one each off Shami and Siraj. He saw England to 241 before his was the seventh wicket to fall.


Shami had returned for a new spell and Bairstow, on 106 from 140 balls faced, edged his drive at the first ball which was just outside the off stump. Kohli, at first slip, held on to it smartly and England were still trailing by 168.


Ten minutes later Stuart Broad skied a top edge behind the stumps off Siraj. And after Sam Billings and Matt Potts had added 19, Billings played-on to a ball from Siraj that came into him for 36 and that was 267 for nine.


A six over mid-wicket by Potts off Siraj saw the batsman to 19 before the next ball ended the innings after the third umpire had a long look to decide the ball had been held above the ground at second slip. It gave Siraj four for 66 and Bumrah finished with three for 68.


SCOREBOARD


India first innings: 416


England first innings (O/n: 84/5):


A Lees b Bumrah6


Z Crawley c Gill b Bumrah9


O Pope c Iyer b Bumrah10


J Root c Pant b Siraj31


J Bairstow c Kohli b Shami106


J Leach c Pant b Shami0


B Stokes c Bumrah b Thakur25


S Billings b Siraj36


S Broad c Pant b Siraj1


M Potts c Iyer b Siraj19


J Anderson (not out)6


Extras: (B-16, LB-5, NB-13, W-1)35


Total: (all out, 61.3 overs)284


Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-27, 3-44, 4-78, 5-83, 6-149, 7-241, 8-248, 9-267


Bowling: Bumrah 19-3-68-3, Shami 22-4-78-2, Siraj 11.3-2-66-4, Thakur 7-0-48-1, Jadeja 2-0-3-0


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