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AFP
August 11, 2018
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Bairstow and Woakes put England on top against India in second Test

LONDON: Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes scored the first fifties of the match as England recovered to build a significant first-innings lead in the second Test against India at Lord's on Saturday after yet another top-order collapse.

England were 230 for five in reply to India's meagre 107, a lead of 123 runs, at tea on the third day. Bairstow was 62 not out and recalled all-rounder Woakes 55 not out.

Their unbroken sixth-wicket stand was so far worth 99 runs and all the more valuable for the fact that England had slumped to 89 for four on the stroke of lunch.

Play resumed with England, 1-0 up in a five-match series after their 31-run win at Edgbston last week, yet to bat.

India, following Thursday's total washout, had batted under overcast skies and on a green-tinged pitch in an innings that lasted a mere 35.2 overs.

James Anderson, England''s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, took full advantage of the swing-friendly conditions with a return of five for 20. By contrast, Saturday''s play started under sunny blue skies that promised to make life easier for the batsmen. But England''s batting has often proved fallible recently.

In 17 Tests since Joe Root became captain, England have been dismissed for under 300 in their first innings seven times.

Ishant Sharma, whose Test-best seven for 44 against England sealed India''s 95-run win in the corresponding Lord''s Test four years ago -- one of just two Indian victories in 17 previous Tests at ''the home of cricket'' -- bowled the first over.

But it was new-ball partner Mohammed Shami who struck first when, from around the wicket, he had Keaton Jennings, aiming across the line, lbw for 11. Five balls later Jennings''s fellow left-handed opener Alastair Cook (21) was out as well, caught behind off a superb Sharma delivery from around the wicket that squared him up and seamed away before finding the outside edge.

The exit of England''s all-time leading Test run-scorer meant 20-year-old debutant batsman Ollie Pope walked out with the hosts in trouble at 32 for two off 8.2 overs. It took the Surrey right-hander just two balls to score his first Test runs when he flicked a Sharma inswinger behind square-leg for four.

But a promising innings of 28 ended when Pope was lbw to all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

And to what became the last ball before lunch, Root was lbw for 19 to a off-cutter that kept low, with Bairstow then unbeaten on four.

Jos Buttler (24) got in and got out before he too fell lbw aiming across the line as Shami took a third wicket this innings. But Bairstow, as he's often done before, held firm while attacking the loose ball.

India had recalled left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who tormented England during the preceding one-day series, for just his third Test after dropping paceman Umesh Yadav, who bowled well at Edgbaston. But Kuldeep rarely troubled Bairstow, who cover-drove him for four to complete a 76-ball fifty featuring seven boundaries.

Bairstow received sound support from the correct Woakes, selected after fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes was omitted because of clash with his ongoing trial for affray.

Woakes, whose two for 19 on Friday included the prize scalp of India captain Virat Kohli, followed Bairstow to the landmark in 71 balls with his seventh four.

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