Beginning at 43/1, England batted creditably in the first session on the third day, just as the Indian batsmen had done on the second day. Like India, England also lost wickets in the session after lunch and played to nearly the same script on their part with an unbroken 54-run last wicket stand. For India, the only consolation is the 105 run lead.
On third day, England batted solidly in the morning session, adding 88 without losing any wicket. They went to lunch with both Robson and Ballance unbeaten on 59 each. India’s bowlers couldn’t impress the two overnight batsmen and lot of runs came because of slow-footed fielders, who appeared wary of running, though there was no match at the Brazil World Cup on Friday and no one could have lost sleep on that account. The seamers bowled well but did not pose any threat to the England batsman.
In the first session after lunch too, Robson and Ballance continued the same way until the 50th over of the innings from Ishant Sharma. On the third ball Sharma trapped Robson leg before with a quicker delivery. Robson didn’t move immediately, thinking he had got his bat to the ball but he had no choice when the umpire’s finger went up. Ian Bell belted Sharma to the fence on arrival showing his displeasure with Robson’s disputed wicket. The next over was a maiden from Jadeja that Bell negotiated without any trouble. Jadeja had kept the batsmen on a tight leash but couldn’t take any wickets. Then Ishant Sharma struck again in the 56th over, when like Robson, Ballance too fell to a leg before decision. But this time there was no bat to the ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaced Jadeja but Bell hit him for three fours in the 59th over and hit another, when Sharma came next from the other end. But Bell’s brief offensive was cut short, when he got adventurous. He probably tried a late-cut on a short ball from Sharma but ended up giving an easy catch to Dhoni. Three quick wickets in a short span, in which only 38 runs were scored, was a good turnaround for India. The batsmen suddenly went into their shells and Indian bowlers began to look ominous. Then in the innings 70th over, Moeen Ali fell to an intended bouncer from Shami. The batman took his eyes off the ball and went for a mighty heave, only to see a skier coming off his gloves to an easy catch to Shikhar Dhawan in the slips. In the next over from Kumar, Matt Prior joined the exit line with a catch to Dhoni and Kumar struck again in the same over to remove Ben Stokes in the same fashion and the England score read 202/7 at the end of 71 overs. Broad and Root continued with some aggression and took the score to 280/7, when an in-swinger from Kumar thumped Broad’s pads plumb in front. Kumar bagged his fourth wicket at the score of 298, when he clean bowled Liam Plunkett.
Just as the end of England innings looked imminent, Joe Root and James Anderson played with the same authority that was exhibited by Shami and Kumar on the previous day. Die-hard test-cricket fans rubbed their eyes in disbelief at the enactment of the same scene from the Indian innings as England denied any pleasure to the bowlers and began creating another last-wicket stand for the second day running. Joe root and Anderson have already collected 54 runs for the tenth wicket and England ended the day with 352/9. The only satisfaction that India has is the lead of 105 on the first innings.
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