India lead England by169 despite Bairstow’s century


Led by pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah, India earned a 132-run first-innings lead against England, despite Jonny Bairstow’s third straight century, and extended its lead to 169 at tea in the series-deciding fifth test on Sunday.

Siraj used the old soft ball to perfection to take 4-66 as England was bowled out for 284 midway into the second session on Day 3 with Bairstow scoring a brilliant 106 off 140 balls.

England hit back early in India’s second innings when James Anderson struck off his third delivery and had Shubman Gill (4) caught in the slips before Cheteshwar Pujara (17) and Hanuma Vihari (10) guided the visitors to 37-1 at tea.

India leads the five-match series 2-1. Bumrah has so far had a dream test debut captaincy. He followed his unbeaten 31 off 16 balls in India’s strong total of 416 with 3-68.

Earlier, England run-machine Bairstow used his power-hitting to reach his third successive test ton after back-to-back centuries against New Zealand last month.

England lost only its captain Ben Stokes for 25 in the morning session before rain intervened for the third successive day as Bairstow’s onslaught led the home team to 200-6 at lunch.

Bairstow and Stokes had survived a tricky first half-hour against Bumrah and Mohammed Shami after England resumed the day on 84-5. Both bowlers beat the outside edges of the batters multiple times before Bairstow launched the counterattack to per-fection.

Stokes tried to break free, perhaps recklessly, and was twice dropped in quick succession when pacer Shardul Thakur couldn’t hold onto a high ball and then Bumrah dropped his counterpart at mid-off.

However, Stokes didn’t survive much longer with Bumrah holding onto a difficult catch at the same position from the next ball off Thakur.

After moving along to 16 off 65 balls, Bairstow cut loose by flicking, driving and pulling the pacers for boundaries. He also hit two big sixes off Siraj and Shardul Thakur after umpires changed the ball because it had lost its shape after the brutal hitting of Bairstow .

He didn’t hold back after surviving the first 30 minutes and, just before rain took the players off the field for an early lunch, Bairstow successfully over-turned an lbw ruling through DRS.

Bairstow didn’t take much time after the break to complete his hundred when he clipped Thakur onside for a boundary off the first ball after lunch. He then punched Thakur off the backfoot to the square boundary to raise his hundred on the offside as Rav-indra Jadeja overran the ball and the ball rolled over the boundary skirting.

But Bumrah clipped the fast scoring rate of Bairstow after lunch before Siraj got the vital break-through when he had the batter caught at slip off a thick outside edge. Bairstow’s blistering knock in-cluded 14 fours and two sixes.

Siraj then sliced through the tail quickly as Sam Billings (36) was bowled, Stuart Broad got a top-edge off a sharp bouncer and Matthew Potts was ruled out caught in the slips by the television umpire in what appeared a controversial decision.—AP


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