Hardik Pandya’s Five-Wicket Haul Puts India on Driver’s Seat

India carried on with the momentum which was set by their skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane on the very first day and are now sitting on top of the Poms.

Cricket news: From this point only a draw or an Indian triumph seems likely

After some magnificent batting in the first innings, India carries their good work with the ball as they ended the second day with a commanding lead of 292 days with three days in hand.

India’s Rishabh Pant and Ravi Ashwin commenced the day with the overnight score of 307/6 from 87 overs. However they could not add much as they were shot out for 329 runs in 94.5 overs.

Pant got an inside edge on to the stumps while trying to get an expansive drive through the covers off Stuart Board. Ashwin hit three fours but a vicious delivery from Board shattered his stumps.

Anderson completed the task by removing the tail-enders in the likes of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Broad, Woakes and Anderson all finished with three wickets to their name.

The young debutant Rishabh Pant also looked comfortable in his debut Test match and contributed to the team’s cause as well as he claimed five catches behind the stumps.

England came out to bat with Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings making a solid 46-runs stand before lunch as England ended the first session on an impressive note.

The duo created a partnership of 54 runs when Ishant drew first blood by claiming Cook’s wicket. Bumrah got Jennings in the very next over and shifted the balance of the match.

While Ishant claimed his second victim in form of Ollie Pope, it was the introduction of Hardik Pandya in the 25th over which proved to be a masterstroke as he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

His first victim was the English skipper Joe Root who nicked one to the slips as KL Rahul got his fingers under the ball just at the right time to get the opposition skipper going.

Shami removed Ben Stokes as England lost half of their side. Pandya claimed the prized wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Woakes in the 31st over as they edged to KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant respectively.

Adil Rashid and Broad also perished quickly as the Brits went from 54/0 in 12 overs to 128/8 in 32.5 overs. Jos Buttler fought back for some brief period as he scored 39 off 32 deliveries, which included three boundaries and two sixes.

But he could only lift the host’s score to 161 as England conceded a mammoth lead of 168 runs after the first innings to the visitors.

Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul opened the second innings for India and once again put on a 60-runs stand for the first wicket and took the lead to 228 runs.

Moreover the most important thing they did was that they did not allow the English bowlers to settle down as they compiled the stand in just 68 deliveries.

With things getting out of control, it was Ben Stokes who got Rahul as he perished scoring 36 runs at a strike rate of more than 100.

Cheteshwar Pujara joined Dhawan and they took India’s score over the 100-run mark as they looked confident in the middle and seemed determined to end the day without any hiccup.

However Dhawan failed to read a wrong’un from Rashid and was stumped in the 24th over as the skipper Kohli joined Pujara in the middle to take India to a position from where just two results seems likely – a draw or an Indian victory.

Brief Scores

India: 329 all out in 94.5 overs; (Virat Kohli 97, Ajinkya Rahane 81; James Anderson 3/64, Stuart Broad 3/72)

England: 161 all out in 38.2 overs; (Jos Buttler 39, Alastair Cook 29; Hardik Pandya 5/28, Ishant Sharma 2/32)

India: 124/2 in 31 overs: (Shikhar Dhawan 44, KL Rahul 36; Adil Rashid 1/23, Ben Stokes 1/30)

India lead by 292 runs

Close of Play: Day 2

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