Gary Ballance Hits Century As England Battle
India 295 (Rahane 103, Anderson 4-60) v
England 219-6 (Ballance 110, Kumar 4-46)
Second Test, Lord's, day two
Gary Ballance stroked his second Lord's century of the summer as England battled on day two of the second Test against India, closing on 219 for six, still 76 runs adrift of India's 295 all out.
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Lycamobile ambassador Farokh Engineer is covering India's tour of England exclusively for Cricket World.
It took England just 10 balls to take the final wicket they needed to get batting themselves, but India took two wickets per session thereafter to ensure the home side's progress was steady.
Ballance took advantage of neither MS Dhoni nor Shikhar Dhawan getting close to an edged chance to make 110 in 203 balls.
However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung things both literally and figuratively back in India's favour by taking four for 46.
Resuming on 290 for nine, Mohammad Shami added five runs before he was caught by Alastair Cook off Ben Stokes for 19 to wrap up India's innings.
Any joy that Cook might have felt at taking his 100th Test catch was short-lived as he made just 10 beore nicking Kumar to Dhoni, who made no mistake diving to his left.
He played at a ball he could have left alone and so did Sam Robson soon after, driving well outside off to also give Dhoni a catch having made 17. He had been put down by Ajinkya Rahane on eight shortly before Cook was dismissed.
England took lunch at 51 for two after Ballance and Ian Bell (16) looked much more solid at the crease against a probing, disciplined line on a full length by India.
After lunch Bell fell when he was trying to get out of the way of a Kumar short ball that seamed in to him and flew to Ravindra Jadeja off his gloves.
If that was a touch unlucky, theN joe Root was the most unfortunate of them all, given out leg before wicket to Jadeja with umpire Bruce Oxenford missing an inside edge. With no DRS available, an unhappy Root, who had made 13 in 50 balls, had to go.
At the other end, Ballance was making good progress but one of Dhoni or Dhawan should have done better when he edged at catchable height between wicket-keeper and first slip.
Moeen Ali struck the first ball he faced for four and made 32 in 106 balls before being trapped in front by Murali Vijay having added 98 with Ballance for the fifth wicket.
Three runs later, a hammer blow for England came when Ballance looked to whip Kumar away on the leg-side but only succeeding in edging to Dhoni, who this time made absolutely no mistake.
It had been a fine knock from the Yorkshireman, including 15 fours, but rather like Rahane on day one, his dismissal so close to stumps will have been a huge disappointment to both himself and his team.
Liam Plunkett (4 not out) and Matt Prior (2 not out) then successfully played out the day and by keeping their wickets intact, have given England a chance of overhauling India's first innings score.
However, for the second day in a row, India must be the happier of the two sides.
© Cricket World 2014
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