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England ahead despite Indian bowlers’ strikes


LONDON: Indian bowlers pulled back England in the second Test at the Lord’s but the hosts were still ahead by 52 runs in the first innings on the third day.

England were 159/5 at drinks in the second session of the third day with Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes at the crease.

Anderson rocks India

Earlier, on the second day, Jimmy Anderson showed he remains a deadly proposition in English conditions taking 5-20 as England bowled out India for a miserly 107.

After the entire first day was lost to rain, further wet conditions forced a delayed start with England captain Joe Root eventually winning the toss and putting India in to bat.

Root was clearly hoping that the lingering damp and overcast conditions would benefit Anderson and the 36-year-old took full advantage with some outstanding swing bowling. It was the sixth time that Anderson has produced a five wicket haul at Lord’s and he now has 99 test wickets at the famous London venue.

For much of the day, thanks again to the weather, it looked as though the fans were going to be restricted to just over eight overs of cricket but then the weather cleared in the evening and India must have wished the rain had stuck around.

In the brief morning session, Anderson got England off to a fine start, clean bowling opener Murali Vijay before removing Lokesh Rahul, who was caught behind by keeper Jonny Bairstow.

After a rain delay, Cheteshwar Pujara was run out by debutant Ollie Pope and a downpour followed immediately.

When play resumed, seamer Chris Woakes, brought in to replace Ben Stokes, who is at a court hearing in Bristol, got the prize wicket of India skipper Virat Kohli for 23 leaving the tourists, who trail 1-0 in the series, at 49 for four.

Only off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, batting at number eight, provided any real resistance, making 29 in a 49-minute knock before he was trapped lbw by Stuart Broad. Anderson, who had generated movement off the seam as well as an impressive amount through the air, finished off the Indians — and secured his five wicket performance — by removing Ishant Sharma.

“I would be so disappointed if I had messed up today because they were ideal conditions to bowl in. For me I find it so much fun when it is like that,” said Anderson.

“You do not get conditions like that much in England anymore with the ball doing that much in the air or off the pitch.

“When we bowl like that we would bowl most teams out in the world, we were that good. When you build pressure all day no matter who you are it is difficult,” he said.

Both teams had made changes from the first test with India making two changes from Edgbaston and opting for a twin spin bowling attack. — Reuters

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