England bowlers mount Lord’s fightback as India lose four wickets before lunch


England bounced back with the ball on the second morning of the Lord’s Test against India, dragging the tourists back to 346 for seven.

Joe Root’s side managed just three wickets in 90 overs of toil on day one but bettered that haul before lunch, claiming four for 70 to move the game along at pace.

India resumed in a dominant position on 276 for three, with centurion KL Rahul starting on 127 not out but things began to take a turn almost immediately as the opener’s long resistance was finally broken.

After seeing off the home attack for three full sessions on Thursday he lasted just two balls on Friday, clipping Ollie Robinson’s loosener for two then pinging his next delivery straight to short cover. It was firm, low catch for Dom Sibley, but the kind of opportunity that England spent hours searching in vain for.

James Anderson made it two in two overs, when he tested Ajinkya Rahane outside off stump and got the outside edge he was seeking. Root made no mistake at first slip and England were suddenly buoyant.

Their electric start was temporarily defused by a 49-run partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant, with the latter helping himself to the lion’s share.

Just as he had at Trent Bridge, Pant gave Anderson the charge early in his innings and slashed to the third-man boundary despite losing balance in the stroke. Risk is an inherent part of his method and he continued attacking, pulling Robinson for consecutive fours when he attempted some short stuff.

His audacity continued when he skipped down the track at Wood and smeared an 88mph delivery over extra-cover. The Durham quick ended Pant’s fun, taking a thin edge as he cranked up things up past 90mph and caught the batsman in a flat-footed stroke.

That exposed India’s lengthy tail and Mohammed Shami lasted just two balls, flicking Moeen Ali tamely to short midwicket for the spinner’s first wicket of the LV= Insurance series.

Jadeja moved to 31no before the interval, with Ishant Sharma blocking out seven balls in support.