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Late Plunkett Strikes Keep England In The Hunt

Liam Plunkett celebrates a wicket
Liam Plunkett (left) followed up a maiden Test half-century with two wickets in two balls late in the day
©REUTERS / Action Images
Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay helped India build a lead with an unbeaten half-century
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 295 (Rahane 103) & 169-4 (Vijay 59no) v
England 319 (Ballance 110, Kumar 6-82)
Second Test, Lord's, day three

Liam Plunkett took two wickets in two balls before India closed day three of the second Test against England at Lord’s on 169 for four, giving them a lead of 145.

England began the day on 219 for six and in desperate need of some quick runs from the lower order to get close to India’s first innings total of 295. 

Under pressure wicket-keeper Matt Prior (23) looked in good touch before he top edged a pull shot to Shikhar Dhawan off the bowling of Mohammed Shami.

Despite the setback, nightwatchman Plunkett comtinued to bat in a positive fashion as he brought up his first Test half-century and helped England reach 319, which gave them a lead of 24 when they were bowled out.

Plunkett made 55 not out in 79 balls and James Anderson a sprightly 19 in 21 deliveries.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took his second five-wicket haul of the series (6-82) and they were the second best figures by an Indian in a Test at Lords.

India appeared untroubled at the start of their innings and although they lost Dhawan for 31, they reached tea on 84 for one - a lead of 60 - and seemed poised to take complete control of the game.

However, after tea Plunkett struck in consecutive balls removing Cheteshwar Pujara (43) and then Virat Kohli (0) to leave the tourists wobbling on 118 for three and when first innings centurion Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed for five England appeared to have turned the contest on its head.

Back came India though and opener Murali Vijay continued on sedately to score 59 not out in 190 balls.

His unbeaten partnership of 46 with his captain MS Dhoni (12 not out) helped India closed day three on 169 for four with all to play for with two days to go.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London

India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton

England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London

England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs
25th August: 1st ODI, Bristol

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
27th August: 2nd ODI, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff

India 304-6 (Raina 100, Woakes 4-52) beat
England 161 (Jadeja 4-28) by 133 runs (D/L)
30th August: 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

India 228-4 (Rayudu 64no) beat
England 227 (Cook 44) by six wickets
2nd September: 4th ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham

India 212-1 (Rahane 106, Dhawan 97no) beat
England 206 (Moeen Ali 67) by nine wickets
5th September: 5th ODI, Headingley, Leeds

England 294-7 (Root 113, Buttler 49) beat
India 253 (Jadeja 87) by 41 runs
7th September: T20I, Edgbaston, Birmingham

England 180-7 (Morgan 71, Hales 40)
India 177-5 (Kohli 66) by three runs