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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Aug 16, 2014
England would easily be the happier side at the end of Day Two of the fifth Test against India at The Oval. Though India had their moments on the day, taking four wickets in the afternoon session, it was largely an England-dominated day and they have extended their lead to 237. India’s bowlers bowled tirelessly, but the paucity of runs on the board meant that it required a bigger effort.
England started the day on 62 for no loss with Sam Robson looking to save his spot. He started off with a streaky shot for four through third-man and was then bowled by a full delivery from Varun Aaron. The Indian speedster bowled with a lot of heart and was easily their best bowler. However, the fielders did not quite back the effort by the bowlers.
Murali Vijay, standing at first slip, failed to hold on to an edge from Alastair Cook off Aaron. Later, Ravichandran Ashwin produced an edge off Gary Ballance and Ajinkya Rahane spilled it. Both batsmen went on to get their half-centuries and were looking good. Cook also became the leading run-scorer for England against India in Tests. However, on 79, Vijay finally held on to an edge of Cook and Aaron celebrated.
Ashwin too got Ballance and he got him to play forward and was caught at forward short-leg. That was the afternoon session and Ishant Sharma then hit by getting an edge of Ian Bell. Ashwin then got Moeen Ali as he dragged one back onto the stumps. At tea, India did feel better as England led by 98 and were five down.
However, after tea, Jos Buttler and Joe Root took control of things and played with a bit of spunk. They pierced the gaps through the off-side. There were a few edges that flew through the slips and India conceded many runs through third-man. Ishant broke the partnership with Buttler playing one down short mid-wicket. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then got Chris Woakes for a duck.
By then, England had placed themselves in firm control and Joe Root moved past his 50. In the last one hour, Root alone hit 40 runs and moved closer to his century as he finished the day on 91.
India 148 (MS Dhoni 82, Murali Vijay 18; Chris Jordan 3 for 30, Chris Woakes 3 for 32) trail England 385 for 7 (Alastair Cook 79, Gary Ballance 64, Joe Root 92*; Varun Aaron 2 for 111, Ishant Sharma 2 for 58, Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 54) 235 runs
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