Woakes and Bairstow Commands England’s Innings as Hosts Take a Healthy Lead

England are truly on the driver’s seat in the second Test at the ‘Home of Cricket’ in the five-match Test series against India as they have taken a healthy lead of 250 runs.

Cricket news: Woakes scored his maiden Test century while Bairstow fell seven short of a century

The first day was totally wasted due to rain, the second day witnessed James Anderson and Co. destroying India at 107 runs while the third day showed the English middle order scruff the necks of the Indian bowlers as they took the score to 357 for the loss of six wickets.

Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings started the proceedings pretty well and scored 28 runs when Mohammed Shami trapped Jennings in front.

Ishant Sharma took the wicket of Cook in the next over as Joe Root and debutant Ollie Pope started rebuilding the innings and scored 45 runs for the third wicket.

Hardik Pandya trapped Pope in front after a determined 28 runs in 38 balls, while Shami pinned Root as England ended the pre-lunch session with 89/4.

Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler resumed after lunch as Buttler hit four boundaries to score 24 off 22 deliveries. But he could not carry on with the momentum as he became Shami’s third victim.

With a lead of just 24 runs at that stage and with half the team in the dressing room, it looked a tricky situation for England.

But in came Chris Woakes and with the help of Bairstow, they took the score to 230/5 in 55 overs in the post-lunch session as both the batsmen completed their respective half-centuries.

There was enough despair left for India as both the batsmen looked in ominous touch and together they made 189 runs and ended India’s hopes of a comeback.

Bairstow was eyeing his sixth Test century but fell seven runs short as he nicked Pandya and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik took an impressive catch by diving full-length on to his right.

However it was Woakes who stole the day at the end of the day by scoring his maiden Test century and celebrated his comeback from the injury in style.

Sam Curran also played a quickfire 22 runs in 24 balls and much to India’s relief, the play was called off for the remaining of the day due to dreary atmosphere.

Brief Scores

India: 107 all out in 35.2 overs; (Ravichandran Ashwin 29, Virat Kohli 23; James Anderson 5/20, Chris Woakes 2/19)

England: 357/6 in 81 overs; (Chris Woakes 120*, Jonny Bairstow 93; Mohammed Shami 3/74, Hardik Pandya 2/66)

England lead by 250 runs  

Close of Play: Day 3