ENG v IND, 5th Test: India gain 132-run lead over England despite Bairstow's 106
IANS

ENG v IND, 5th Test: India gain 132-run lead over England despite Bairstow's 106

Birmingham, July 3, 2022

Mohammed Siraj picked four wickets while Jasprit Bumrah scalped three wickets as India bowled out England for 284 in 61.3 overs, gaining a sizeable lead of 132 runs in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston on Sunday.

For England, Jonny Bairstow made a belligerent 106, sharing stands of 66 with Ben Stokes (25) and 92 with Sam Billings (36) but it wasn't enough to avoid conceding a handy lead to India.

Bairstow continued from where he left off at lunch, clipping Thakur in the gap between deep mid-wicket and deep mid-on for a boundary. From the other end, Sam Billings struck Jasprit Bumrah for boundaries through fine-leg and third-man to keep England's run-flow continuing.

Bairstow then got his century with a crunchy back-foot punch off Thakur, square through the off-side, with Ravindra Jadeja slipping on the boundary and allowing the ball to cross the rope for a boundary.

With Thakur struggling to nail his line and length, both Bairstow and Billings were able to rotate the strike to keep the scoreboard moving, with the former surviving an lbw appeal off Bumrah via DRS.

Bumrah and Jadeja combined to concede only six in four overs of sustained pressure. The beneficiary of that tightness was Mohammed Shami, who delivered the breakthrough for India with the first ball of his spell to end Bairstow's knock at 106.

On a full and outside the off-stump ball from Shami, Bairstow couldn't resist driving hard away from his body and gave a healthy edge to Kohli at first slip, who directed a flying kiss immediately towards the Barmy Army fans.

India then peppered Stuart Broad with short-pitched stuff and in an attempt to break free, he skied one high in the air off Mohammed Siraj, giving a simple catch to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Siraj got his third scalp when Billings played-on while trying to guide the ball through the third man, departing for 36.

He then ended England's innings when Matthew Potts nicked to second slip for a low catch, with replays taking a long time to decide whether the ball had hit the ground or Iyer's finger was on the ground before the catch.

Earlier, in a riveting first session, after a quiet time, England shifted gears from the 34th over, with Stokes and Bairstow taking a boundary each off Shami. Bairstow, fired up after an exchange of words with Virat Kohli, welcomed Siraj with back-to-back boundaries -- a swipe through mid-wicket was followed by a chip over cover.

Stokes had luck on his side when he skied a shot off Shami, but Thakur spilled the chance at cover, giving him life on 18. Bairstow added salt to the wound by smashing the next two balls for boundaries -- a flick over deep square leg was followed by a loft over mid-on.

After Bairstow reached his fifty, Thakur struck in his very first over when Bumrah took a screamer of a catch, diving full length to his left at mid-off to dismiss Stokes just one ball after dropping a sitter from him. But Bairstow continued to march on, smashing short as well as full balls from Siraj and Thakur for boundaries, with a swat over backward square leg for six being the standout.

Brief scores: India 416 lead England 284 all out in 61.3 overs (Jonny Bairstow 106, Sam Billings 36; Mohammed Siraj 4-66, Jasprit Bumrah 3-68) by 132 runs

IANS

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