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AFP
September 8, 2018
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Birthday boy Buttler leads England fightback against India

LONDON: Jos Buttler marked his 28th birthday with a third fifty in four England innings to lead a lower-order revival against India in the fifth Test at the Oval on Saturday.

England, who had already won this five-match series at 3-1 up, started the second day in danger of being dismissed for under 200 at 198 for seven.

Yet at lunch they were 304 for eight in their first innings after scoring more than a hundred runs in the session.

Buttler was 63 not out and Stuart Broad 36 not out, with the pair having so far added an unbroken 90 for the ninth wicket.

It was yet another example this series of England´s tail frustrating India following a top-order collapse.

Alastair Cook, in his final Test appearance, before international retirement, made 71 on Friday.

But the left-handed opener´s dismissal sparked a slump that saw England lose six wickets for 48 runs, with captain Joe Root, who won the toss, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran all out for ducks.

Moeen Ali did make exactly 50 but he too fell before stumps.

Buttler, who had been given out lbw to Mohammed Shami on eight on Friday only for a review to reveal an inside edge, was 11 not out overnight, with Adil Rashid unbeaten on four.

Despite overcast conditions that promised to assist India´s fast bowlers, Rashid was quickly into his stride.

Primarily a leg-spinner, Rashid cover-drove Jasprit Bumrah for a stylish four in the paceman´s first over of the day.

Rashid, who has 10 first-class hundreds to his credit, also clipped Bumrah off his pads for another well-struck boundary.

But on 15 he fell lbw to Bumrah, with England then 214 for eight.

New batsman Broad was peppered with several short-pitched deliveries but hung in long enough to on-drive Shami down the ground for a textbook four.

Buttler then clipped Ishant Sharma behind square for four to raise a fifty stand with Broad.

And Buttler then completed his own fifty in 84 balls, including five fours.

Buttler followed up by driving Sharma through extra cover for four before Broad´s two off the same bowler brought up the 300.

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