Root-Bairstow stand puts England on top in chase of 378 against India in Birmingham 


Joe Root (76*) and Jonny Bairstow (72*) featured in an unbroken 150-run stand for the fourth wicket to place England heading in the right direction for victory in a stiff chase of 378 within the Birmingham Test in opposition to India.

Set a difficult goal, the hosts slipped from a wholesome 107 for no loss to 109 for 3. Nonetheless, the dependable pair of Root and Bairstow led one other commendable fightback for the hosts, ending Day 4 at a wholesome 259- 3. England now want a really gettable 119 to win the Birmingham Take a look at on the ultimate day with seven wickets in hand.

Root was compact as ever, reaching yet one more defiant half-century. Bairstow, in the meantime, carried on his glorious kind, rotating the strike and discovering the boundaries with consummate ease every time the bowlers erred. There was a probably game-changing second when Bairstow was dropped on 14.

The appropriate-handed batter edged Mohammed Siraj, and the ball flew to the slip cordon, the place Hanuma Vihari was caught off-guard because the ball burst by way of his arms. Bairstow made India pay, as he introduced up yet one more fifty by clipping Mohammed Shami off his legs for a pair.

Earlier than their counter-attack with the bat, England made an outstanding comeback into the Take a look at courtesy their bowlers. Heading into Day 4, India held the higher by fairly a big margin. Nonetheless, resuming their second innings on 125 for 3, the guests may solely add 120 runs as they bowled out for 245.

Numerous Indian batters gave their wickets away, making an attempt aggressive strokes. In the long run, they managed a big lead of 377, however it was no less than 50 in need of what they’d have ideally hoped for.

Ben Stokes fires England again into rivalry in Birmingham

Ben Stokes is congratulated by Matthew Potts after taking the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja. Pic: Getty Images
Ben Stokes is congratulated by Matthew Potts after taking the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja. Pic: Getty Photographs

Cheteshwar Pujara bought some early rhythm into his innings, hitting two well-timed fours off James Anderson, to get proceedings underway. Nonetheless, his nice knock ended on 66 when he reduce Stuart Broad straight to backward level. The opposite batter, Rishabh Pant, introduced up his fifty by glancing a leg facet supply from Broad for 4.

There was not a lot for India to have a good time thereafter, although. Shreyas Iyer (19) as soon as once more fell into the quick ball lure, pulling Matthew Potts straight to midwicket. Pant (57), himself, perished to Jack Leach, giving a easy catch to slide whereas making an attempt a reverse sweep. As Pant walked again, England may sniff a real likelihood of creating a comeback into the sport as India’s lead was nonetheless solely 330.

The wickets stored falling for India, as Shardul Thakur (4) miscued a brief ball and was caught at lengthy leg, not lengthy after being struck on the helmet. Ben Stokes then claimed the final three wickets to spice up England’s hopes.

Mohammed Shami (13) top-edged a brief ball; Ravindra Jadeja (23) chopped one again onto his stumps, whereas Jasprit Bumrah (7) holed out, mistiming a hook. The England captain ended with spectacular figures of 4-33.

Alex Lees comes out all weapons blazing for England

Alex Lees contributed a crucial half-century. Pic: Getty Images
Alex Lees contributed a vital half-century. Pic: Getty Photographs

After doing nicely to limit India of their second innings, England continued their good work with the bat. Below-pressure openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley added a vital 107 runs for the opening wicket to boost the hosts’ hopes of victory.

Lees was notably spectacular, as he batted with authority and performed some enticing strokes. Crawley was subdued as compared however ensured he didn’t give his wicket away.

Not like within the first innings, India’s bowlers appeared fully flat, as Lees and Crawley checked out ease. England’s fifty, in reality, got here up in 9 overs when Lees reverse-swatted Jadeja for a boundary. The runs stored flowing for Lees as he reached his half-century off 44 delivieries, punching Siraj by way of the covers for 4.

Simply when India have been starting to really feel the strain, captain Bumrah rose to the event, dislodging Crawley (46). The England opener provided no stroke to a fuller supply from the right-handed pacer that got here again and was bowled. Regardless of the lack of Crawley, England went to tea on Day 4 in an snug 107-1.

With the primary ball within the post-tea session, although, Bumrah struck once more, forcing Ollie Pope (0) to nick an excellent size supply that straightened to catch the sting of the bat. Catastrophe struck for England, because the well-set Lees (56) perished following a chaotic mix-up with Root.

The left-handed opener edged a supply from Jadeja in direction of backward sq. leg. Root took off immediately, whereas Lees was rooted to his crease. The latter finally set off for a run, however it was too late and was caught in need of his crease by a distance.

At 109- 3, India had seized again the initiative. Nonetheless, that they had no solutions to Root and Bairstow’s resilience because the Birmingham Take a look at moved again in favour of the hosts by stumps on Day 4.

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