Bairstow and Woakes knock the wind out of India's sails

Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes celebrates reaching a century
©Reuters/Paul Childs

It is difficult to be pinpoint in a game like cricket but one feels that with a lead of 250, two days remaining and forecast of imminent rain, there is only one team which can win from here.

England 357-6 (Jonny Bairstow 93, Chris Woakes 120*; Mohammed Shami 3-74) lead by 250 runs India 107

With India having been all out for a meagre 107 on Day 2, the team must have thought of returning the favour. However the difference between the conditions of Day two and Day three turned out to be chalk and cheese. The sun was out and it was quite bright.

When Indian new ball bowlers Mohammed Shami (19-74-3) and Ishant Sharma started bowling, the ball went gunbarrel straight. These were ominous signs for India who were subjected to hostile spells of bowling by English bowlers the previous day. However, when their turn came to give back the same, the conditions were no longer the same.

However, Shami and Ishant were persistent and finally broke through with quick wickets of Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings and Joe Root.

Debutante Ollie Pope looked good for his 28 but was wrapped on the pads. After that, the game took a steep turn as Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes stitched together a partnership of close to 200.

The Indian shoulders began to droop. Woakes (120*) went on to notch up a classy hundred and register his name on the Honours board. He could not have had it any better as he brought up his maiden Test hundred at the home of cricket.

By the time Bairstow (93) nicked off to Dinesh Karthik, England were already well ahead in the match. Sam Curran came out to bat after Bairstow's dismissal and he too found his feet at the crease, helped by several gifts from Kuldeep Yadav.

When play was called off due to bad light, England had taken a lead of 250 runs with four wickets still intact. It is difficult to be pinpoint in a game like cricket but one feels that with a lead of 250, two days remaining and forecast of imminent rain, there is only one team which can win from here.

 © Cricket World

 
 
 

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