kolhi-final

Virat Kohli provided the inspiration with his 149 on day two of the opening India vs England Test at Edgbaston and India rode with it on day three by putting in a stellar bowling performance.

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Chasing a total of 194, Indian may be five down, but their great hope was steady as a rock against the disciplined bowling of James Anderson, Sam Curran and Stuart Broad, seeing his team to  110 for five at close of play on Friday, 84 runs adrift of the target.

Scorecard | As it happened

England, for their part, worked around Kohli chipping away at India.

Ishant Sharma (5/51) had played a pivotal role earlier with his eighth five-wicket haul in 83 matches as England folded for 180 in their second innings, and if it was not for Curran’s valiant 63, India could very well have been in the driver’s seat.

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After slumping to 86 for six, England, buoyed by Curran and the last three wickets, added 94 runs extending their lead to 38 runs more than the average fourth innings score over the years at Edgbaston. 150 plus targets have only been achieved thrice at this ground by any team.

Kohli (43* off 76), however, remains the key for India and the thorn for England.

In the chase, focus was needed from India’s top order in their second essay. It was not to be. Murali Vijay played 17 deliveries before falling over; Shikhar Dhawan lasted 24 deliveries until he went for an expansive drive; Ajinkya Rahane defended astutely for 16 deliveries before he hung his bat away from the body. KL Rahul got a peach of delivery from Stokes while Broad removed the openers. Curran’s consistency got him Rahane before James Anderson picked Ashwin with a regulation outswinger.

All the while, Kohli played and missed but exuded confidence with each passing delivery and hoped to find an ally at the other end. Until the close of play, that ally proved to be Dinesh Karthik (18*).

Earlier, India had claimed five wickets in the morning session – three of them by Ishant. Ashwin started well removing Keaton Jennings (8) and then had the big gun Joe Root for 14. Ishant got one to seam away late and Dawid Malan (20) was squared up. Jonny Bairstow (28) and Stokes (6) soon followed. The bowlers then picked the remaining four England wickets in the second session, but at the expense of 93 runs.

Adil Rashid, boasting a First-Class batting average of 33.21 including 10 centuries, and Curran resisted and put on 48 runs for the eighth wicket to arrest India’s momentum. Departure of Rashid accelerated Curran’s scoring rate as he hit one six and a four off Ashwin and followed it up with another six over extra cover to bring up his maiden Test fifty in only his second match. He was the last man out, but not before handing England a good total to bowl at.

Brief Scores: India 274 & 110/5 (Kohli 43*; Broad 2/29) need 84 runs to beat England 287 & 180 (Sam Curran 63; Ishant 5/51)