India build lead despite Plunkett heroics

England

Day three of the second Test between England and India at Lord's was a slow one but featured burst of inspiration, with Liam Plunkett the star for the hosts and Murali Vijay and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shining for India.

Day three of the second Test between England and India at Lord's was a slow one but featured burst of inspiration, with Liam Plunkett the star for the hosts and Murali Vijay and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shining for India.

Plunkett scored a vital half century in the morning as England reached 319 all out, holding a lead of 24. Kumar took six wickets in that innings. India then responded with 169 for four at stumps, leading by 145 thanks to Vijay's 59 not out.

The day began with England on 219 for six, with Matt Prior and Plunkett in the middle. Prior was on two and Plunkett on four, the latter amusingly sent in as night watchman to protect the former the day before.

The pair batted relatively freely initially, and Prior made it to 23, before top edging a Mohammed Shami delivery and Shikhar Dhawan made good ground to catch it over his shoulder.

Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad followed soon after, for a duck and four, both to Kumar, to give him his maiden five-fer in England, at Lord's, and the fourth best debut figures at the ground by an India bowler.

Plunkett then continued alongside James Anderson, who again showed impressive batting skills. Plunkett scored his maiden Test fifty off 75 balls, while Anderson quickly made his way to 19 as they took the lead.

Anderson was then out in perfect media fodder fashion. He tried to reverse sweep Ravi Jadeja, his new nemesis off the field, first ball faced, but only managed to get the edge and Ajinkya Rahane took the close catch.

India thus started their knock with a 24-run deficit, and made their way to 11 for none by lunch. In the afternoon, Dhawan and Vijay progressed to 40, before Dhawan was brilliantly caught at backward point by a diving Joe Root off Stokes for 31.

Vijay bas batting at snail's pace, but he kept his head as he was joined by the equally stoic Cheteshwar Pujara. The pair added 78 runs over the next 30 overs, frustrating England's bowlers on an increasingly friendly track.

But then Plunkett found a burst of energy in the evening session, and struck twice in one over. He got Pujara for 43, edged behind for Prior to take an easy catch, before bowling Virat Kohli for a golden duck. He could not capitalise on the hat-trick though.

This left Vijay to bat with Rahane, but the latter did not last long. He made five runs before a Broad bouncer caught his arm guard, and Prior took a good diving catch. The umpire was mistaken in giving it out, but there was no DRS to save Rahane.

Vijay and his skipper then saw out the day, with the opener recording yet another fifty, off a whopping 162 balls. It was not a pretty innings, but Dhoni would not care about that as they head into day four with a solid lead.

Latest