Cook Helps England Take 154-Run Lead Against India in Last Test
Cook was unbeaten on 46 in his final Test innings as England took a 154-read lead over India on the third day.
- India were all out for 292 in reply to England’s first innings total of 332 on the third day of the fifth and final Test at the Oval.
- England were 114/2 at stumps, leading the visitors by 154 runs on Sunday, 9 September.
- Playing his final Test, Alastair Cook (46*) along with Joe Root (29*) will resume England’s innings on Day 4.
After Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 86 brought India back into contention in the fifth Test, Alastair Cook – in his final Test innings – helped England reach 114 for two at stumps on day three. The hosts had bowled India out for 292 earlier in the day.
Cook – who will retire from Test cricket at the end of his 161st match – came through a shaky start to maintain his hopes of a farewell century at the Oval. He remained unbeaten on 46 as the hosts took a 154-run lead on Sunday, 9 September. At end of play, he had put on 52 runs for the third wicket with skipper Joe Root (29).
Post tea, Cook and Keaton Jennings (10) extended their opening partnership to 27. India wasted both reviews on the openers within three overs after the break.
On both occasions, Ravindra Jadeja (1-36) and keeper Rishabh Pant convinced skipper Virat Kohli to go for the reviews, despite the ball missing the off-stump. Mohammed Shami (1-32) then bowled Jennings in the 13th over.
Cook and Moeen Ali (20) put on 35 runs for the second wicket and took England past 50 in the 24th over. The latter enjoyed a life on 14, as KL Rahul dropped him at second slip off Ishant Sharma (0-11).
Jadeja did get Ali soon after, bowling him through the gate as the ball spun a mile after kicking up from the rough.
India had the match ball changed on two occasions thereafter, as Cook and Root played out the remaining overs without much ado and bringing up their 50-stand off 80 balls. The score crossed 100 in the 38th over as the hosts assumed a commanding position in this Test.
Jadeja Stages Lower-Order Fightback
Jadeja scored 86 not out as India finished their first innings at 292 (95 overs), conceding a 40-run lead. The left-hander faced 156 balls and hit 11 fours as well as a six, narrowing the gap between the two teams.
Post lunch, India tried to extend their innings as long as possible. Ishant Sharma (4) though fell in the fourth over after the break, caught behind off Moeen Ali (2-50).
At the other end, Adil Rashid (1-19) dismissed Mohammed Shami (1) who again tried to hit out instead of putting a price on his wicket.
Jasprit Bumrah (0) did just that, and batted out 14 deliveries, which allowed Jadeja to smash the ball around. In doing so, he put on 32 runs for the tenth and final wicket.
Jadeja reached his ninth Test half-century off 113 balls, after India had crossed 250 in the 84th over. England were so flustered that they took the new ball in hope of dismissing the last wicket quickly.
The partnership, and India's innings ended through a run-out in the 95th over as Jadeja finished unbeaten.
Earlier, Hanuma Vihari scored a half-century on debut as India reached 240 for seven at lunch.
Starting from overnight 174 for six, Vihari and Jadeja looked to bat for time and dig India out of the precarious position they found themselves in.
James Anderson (2-54) and Stuart Broad (1-50) bowled a threatening first spell, but both batsmen played watchfully and with patience. There were a couple edges, though they didn't go to hand or fell short.
Runs started trickling in as India scored 33 runs in the first hour of play. 200 came up in the 63rd over, with the duo adding 50 runs for their seventh-wicket partnership off 117 balls.
Jadeja started taking a few more liberties with his stroke making, while Vihari stayed calm and looked to score when the opportunity presented itself. In the 71st over, England reviewed a caught behind decision against Jadeja, but there was no edge.
Vihari (56) then reached his maiden Test half-century off 104 balls, justifying the decision to include him ahead of Karun Nair.
Just when it appeared that he would take India to lunch without any loss, Ali struck against the run of play and dismissed Vihari. The batsman reviewed, but DRS didn't prove conclusively if he did not edge behind, as the bat seemed to hit pad the same time as the ball.
Vihari and Jadeja added 77 runs in all, as India scored 66-1 in this first session of play.
On day one, India reduced to England to 198 for seven, and they finished at 332 on day two, thanks to Jos Buttler's 89.
England have already taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, with wins in Birmingham, Lord's and Southampton. India won the third Test at Nottingham.
(With inputs from PTI)
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