On day four morning India added only seven runs to their overnight score and lost last two wickets quickly handing England a 2nd innings lead of 239 runs. Home team decided to set India a target instead of enforcing the follow-on. With lead under their belt England declared 2nd innings on 205-4 and gave India a target of 445 runs to win the third Test. At stumps on day four after losing top order India are 112-4 and need 333 more runs on the final day to win, but victory seems to be out of sight and India will be aiming for draw. In case you missed the action here are five interesting highlights of the day’s play.
Birthday Boy James Anderson claims five-for: It was James Anderson’s birthday and he started the morning on a happy note by scalping two quick wickets to claim his five wicket haul. Anderson removed MS Dhoni who could not add a run to his overnight score of 50 and Mohammad Shami to hand England a massive lead of 239 runs. He finished with figures of 5-53.
Alistair Cook & Joe Root notch fifties: Out of touch pre-match England captain after scoring an exceptional 95 in 1st innings registered another half-century in the 2nd innings. Cook who remained unbeaten on 70 made sure England lead go well past 400-run mark. It was for the eighth time in Cook’s career that he had scored fifties in both the innings of a Test. England needed to give their bowlers enough time to bowl at Indian batsmen and to do that they had to score quickly. Joe Root came out to bat exactly with that frame of mind and played exquisite shots to keep the scoreboard ticking. Root who attacked right from the go smashed his half-century off just 38 balls.
Two quick wickets jolt India: Both the Indian openers were watchful and looked on course for a decent opening stand, but some lazy running between the wickets cost India a crucial wicket of in-form batsman Murali Vijay. The right-hander ran from non-strikers but was touch short of crease when Stuart Broad inflicted direct hit at stumps. Alistair Cook then brought spinner Moeen Ali into the attack and he rewarded his captain with a vital wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara who lasted only six balls. Pujara was caught in the slip and England completely dominated the session.
Shikhar Dhawan & Virat Kohli fail to resist: Shikhar Dhawan batted with intent and looked positive as it was for the first time in this series Murali Vijay departed before him. He along with Virat Kohli added 51 runs for the third wicket before being dismissed by part time spinner Joe Root. Soon after Dhawan’s dismissal Moeen Ali found an outside edge off Kohli’s bat to fetch his second wicket of the day.
Ajinkya Rahane & Rohit Sharma on crease: With top order back in the hutch Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma played defensively to make sure no further damage is done. Both batsmen finished not out and will be up for a task tomorrow on day five to try and save Test match. India have only six wickets intact and will be batting for three sessions tomorrow.