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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Jul 19, 2014
In a Test match that has seen momentum swings, it is difficult to place one side in the driver’s seat. Given the general belief that Day Three is crucial for a game, one can still say that the England-India contest at Lord’s still hangs in the balance. Though England have chipped away at the Indian wickets on Day Three, the visitors too are in with a chance, mainly if they bat well tomorrow. As things stand, India lead by 145.
The day started with England at 219 for six. Matt Prior, a man who has faced numerous questions in recent times, batted with positive intent, though he scored only 23. But, it was Liam Plunkett who was the star. In playing some amazing drives through the off-side, Plunkett got his maiden half-century and helped England take that 24-run lead. But, a moment that had the crowd’s attention was Ravindra Jadeja dismissing James Anderson. Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two more wickets to complete his six wicket haul.
India started off cautiously, but after lunch, Dhawan took matters in his own hands. While there were a few streaky strokes during his innings. He raced away to 30 and was then dismissed when he tried to cut one too. Joe Root took a brilliant catch there.
Thereafter, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara put up a sound stand, with the latter going along at a good rate. They batted through the afternoon session and resumed with confidence after tea. However, with Pujara on 43, he fished at one outside the off-stump and was caught behind. Virat Kohli’s woes on this tour continued as he was bowled first ball when he shouldered arms to a delivery that came back in.
A few overs later, Ajinkya Rahane received a rough decision when he tried to fend a short ball from Stuart Broad and it took the arm-guard. Prior caught it and Bruce Oxenford raised the finger. Skipper MS Dhoni walked in and played out time to ensure India went in without further damage. Vijay got through to his fifty and remained unbeaten at the end of the day.
India 295 (Ajinkya Rahane 103, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 36; James Anderson 4 for 60, Stuart Broad 2 for 79, Ben Stokes 2 for 40) and 169 for 4 (Murali Vijay 59*, Cheteshwar Pujara 43; Liam Plunkett 2 for 24) lead England 319 (Gary Ballance 110, Liam Plunkett 55*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 6 for 82, Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 46) by 145 runs.
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