India won a thrilling test match in the final hour to go 1-0 up in the series with three to play. The tourists held their nerve to deny England victory as the hosts faltered in their quest to save the match.
The Indian tall wagged with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah sharing a ninth wicket partnership of 89. India declared on 298 for 8, setting England an unlikely 272 to win in sixty overs.
England found themselves 2 for 2 after Rory Burns and Dom Sibley fell for ducks. When Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root were dismissed in the space of four balls, India were strong favourites to win.
Buttler’s defiance all in vain
Jos Buttler stood defiant for 96 balls for 25 runs in 16 overs before Buttler fell with ten overs remaining. Mohammed Siraj quickly wrapped up victory by bowling James Anderson to seal a 151 run victory.On the opening morning of the Lords test England won the toss and decided to put India in to bat. Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul put on 126 for the opening wicket before Anderson bowled Sharma for 83. The Lancashire paceman added Cheteshwar Pujar to his scalps in the match for nine.
England had no further success until late in the day with the second new ball Ollie Robinson struck. The Sussex seamer had Virat Kohli caught at second slip for 42. At the close of the day it was Rahul who grabbed the headlines with a brilliant unbeaten 127.
England strike early
England struck early on day two with two wickets in seven deliveries. Rahul(129) was caught at cover with Rahane edging Anderson to slip for one. It was down to Rishabh Pant(37) and Ravi Jadeja(40) to lift India to 364. Once again Anderson lead the way for England with another five wicket haul.
England’s reply soon hit the buffers when Siraj picked up two wickets in successive deliveries. Sibley(11) chipped straight to short midwicket and Haseeb Hameed falling first ball.
It was down to an out of form Rory Burns and in form Root to dig England out of trouble. Burns was trapped leg before for 49 before the close to leave the hosts 119 for 3.
Root and Bairstow to the rescue
Root and Bairstow put on a stand of 121 before Bairstow fell for 57. Ishant Sharma produce an inspired spell with the ball, removing Butler(23). The experienced quick bowler picked up two scalps in two deliveries with Ali(28) and Sam Curran falling first ball.
With Anderson out to the last delivery of the day, England were bowled out for 391, a lead of 27. Yet again it was Root who led by example by continuing his purple patch with a super unbeaten 180.
India were soon in trouble when Mark Wood had Rahul(5) caught behind and Sharma(21) caught hooking. Curran then nabbed the key wicket of Kohli(20). Pujara and Rahane shared a stand of 100 for the fourth wicket before Rahane(61) edged Ali behind. Ali bowled Jadeja(3) to leave India at the close on day four 181 for 6.
England needed wickets on the final morning and they delivered. Robinson grabbed the wickets of Pant and Sharma to leave India 209 for 8. If England thought they would be able to mop up the tail quickly, India had other ideas.
Shami and Bumrah made England’s bowlers toil to set up a declaration. Requiring a stiff 272 to win England slumped to 2 for 2. By tea England were reduced to 67 for 5 with India odds on favourites to wrap up victory quickly.
Despite Buttler’s terrific defiance it wasn’t to be with India heading in to the third test at Headingly with a slender advantage.