Birmingham, Aug 3: Chasing a coveted Test victory on English soil, a nervy India ended the action-packed third day of the first match at a precarious 110 for five, still 84 runs adrift from a tricky 194-run target, here on Friday (August 3).
India allowed England to put on board 180 runs, despite having them on mat at 87 for seven at one stage with Ishant Sharma (5/51) and R Ashwin (3/39) troubling the home batsmen in the first two sessions.
It was young all-rounder Sam Curran who bolstered the England second innings with a fighting 63-run knock, which came off just 65 balls with nine fours and two sixes.
England pace battery, led by Stuart Broad, gobbled up half the Indian batting line up under favourable overcast conditions as the visiting batsmen were either reckless with their shot selection or got too good deliveries to counter.
Kohli, who turned it around for India in the first innings with a combative 149, now stands between victory and defeat for the visitors. The defiant Indian captain, who saw his batting colleagues perishing one after another, was batting on 43 and giving him company was a disciplined Dinesh Karthik (18) when the stumps were drawn for the day.
What an atmosphere .game hanging in a balance ..packed capacity ..wish u could hear the roar pic.twitter.com/jToF7SFawp— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) August 3, 2018
They added 32 runs for the unbeaten sixth wicket, playing with maturity. The Test still hangs in balance with the first session tomorrow holding key for both the sides. England did not have to wait long for their first breakthroughs as Broad (2/29) trapped Vijay and had Shikhar Dhawan (13) caught behind.
Test on knife's edge -- or how @imVkohli fares tomorrow...— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) August 3, 2018
KL Rahul (13) did not look too comfortable at the crease and fell to Ben Stokes (1/25) just as his third-wicket partnership with Kohli was starting to take shape. Kohli survived a hairy lbw shout against Sam Curran (1/17), but DRS showed the ball sailing over middle stump. But the left-arm young pacer was able to nab Ajinkya Rahane (2), caught behind shortly afterwards.
India tried a different approach to stop the down curve, and R Ashwin (13) came out to bat at number five. He lasted less than four overs before Anderson came back to turn the game in England's favour once again. Karthik and Kohli though dug in deep, especially the former, and made sure that the seesawing game went into the fourth day.
Earlier, Ishant Sharma took his eighth five-wicket haul while R Ashwin (3-59) and Umesh Yadav (2-20) shared the other five wickets as the Sam Curran's valiant fightback went in vain.
Post lunch, Sharma didn't allow Jos Buttler (1) to get settled, nicking him off on the second ball after the resumption of play. 20-year-old all-rounder Curran then took centre stage as he scored 63 runs off 65 balls, including nine fours and two sixes, and delayed India's victory march. In doing so, he put on 48 runs with Adil Rashid (16) for the eighth wicket.
It was the only passage of play on this third day wherein English batsmen looked comfortable at the crease as Indian bowlers searched desperately for a breakthrough. Curran played with a maturity that belied his young age. It didn't help that Dhawan dropped Rashid at slip off Yadav.
Their partnership looked good for many more, but bad light due to heavy cloud stopped play for approximately 16 minutes. Shortly on resumption, Yadav cleaned up Rashid's off-stump in the 45th over. Sensing closure of the innings, Curran attacked the bowling, hitting sixes off both Sharma and Ashwin, as he reached his maiden Test half-century at a run-a-ball gallop.
He shielded both senior partners Stuart Broad (11) and James Anderson (0*) ably, but Sharma eventually broke through as the English innings came to an end at the stroke of tea. This was after Ashwin ran through the top order as India reduced England to 86 for six at lunch.
Starting from overnight 9 for 1, England did not get much respite as Ashwin bowled non-stop from one end after dismissing Alastair Cook (0) previously on Thursday evening. The left-handed batsman in the English line-up looked easy fodder for him as the wicket started taking a lot more turn this morning.
In the eighth over, Keaton Jennings (8) was the first to go with KL Rahul taking a sharp catch at leg slip. Joe Root (14) held the key to England's second innings, and eventual course of the game, but Ashwin etched out the big wicket eight overs later. He broke the budding 21-run partnership between him and Dawid Malan (20) as Rahul held another excellent, low catch at leg slip. It could have gotten worse, as Bairstow's (28) first shot also landed close to Rahul's hand.
Loved every minute of this game, not least the way Kohli's dragged his entire team with him. Hard to think of a more driven cricketer.— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) August 3, 2018
Three overs later, Malan (on 17) got a life when Shikhar Dhawan failed to latch on to a low catch at first slip off Sharma. But the left-hander never looked comfortable at the crease with Sharma constantly troubling him. Malan and Root added 31 runs for the fourth wicket and pushed England past 50 in the 17th over.
The former looked to play more conservatively, while Bairstow opened up a bit to score at any opportunity he got. Just when it looked that they were getting comfortable at the crease, Sharma struck a quick triple blow. Rahane caught first Malan at fourth slip in the 27th over.
Then in the last over before lunch, Sharma struck twice to dismiss Bairstow, caught at first slip, and Ben Stokes (6), caught at third slip, in the space of three balls. England were completely rocked with only the tail left to play with Buttler, as they had no reply to Indian bowlers' intensity.
As it happened on Day 3:
That's stumps! India end the day's play at 110/5 and they now require 84 more runs to win this game. Kohli - 43 and Karthik - 18 have kept the visitors in this game after yet another shameful top-order collapse.
At the end of 30 overs, India have managed to reach 101 but they have also lost 5 wickets in the process. The top-order has collapsed yet again and the visitors find themselves on sticky wickets.
Half of the Indian side is back into the pavilion as Ashwin departs for 13. Anderson ends his stay on the crease. India are 78/5 in the run chase of 194.
Full house, crowd singing, cheering, ooh-ing and aah-ing every ball at a test match. Is this isolated or can this still spread?— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 3, 2018
Wicket! Sam Curran continues making this game special for him. After producing a sensational batting effort the 20-year-old has now dismissed India's vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane for 2. Rahane's poor form with the bat continues as India lost their fourth wicket in the tricky run chase. India - 63/4.
KL Rahul perishes too! The right-handed batsman edges Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow does the rest. He departs for 13 and India are three down for 46. Another poor show from India's top order.
At the end of 13th over, India reach 43/2. They still require another 151 runs to win. England pacers are bowling the tight line and not letting Kohli and Rahul settle down. It's going to be another intense contest between bat and ball.
Vijay's 2nd-innings problems continue: he averages 51.48 in the 1st innings, and 25 in the 2nd. In his last 10 second innings, he has scored 82 runs, ave 8.2.
Wicket! Stuart Broad is on fire! He's got rid of Shikhar Dhawan for 13 as the left-handed batsman edges him and pays the price. India - 22/2.
Terrific atmosphere at Edgbaston. This is why England love playing here. If Broad gets Kohli the roofers might have to do some repair work on the Hollies Stand— Nick Hoult (@NHoultCricket) August 3, 2018
Wicket! England have got the early breakthrough as Murali Vijay has been dismissed LBW by Stuart Broad. India lost their first wicket pretty early as as the ball is moving well at Edgbaston. Broad and Anderson are bowling in tandem.
Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan have opened the second innings for India as they chase 194.
India need 194 to win.
Ishant Sharma completes a superb five-wicket haul before Umesh Yadav dismisses Sam Curran to end the England innings. Tremendous fight shown by the 20-year-old, 63 off 65 balls.— ICC (@ICC) August 3, 2018
England all out for 180, India need 194 to win.#ENGvIND LIVE 👇https://t.co/jre8L0pd2t pic.twitter.com/Bhf88NOkFF
Wicket! Umesh Yadav gets the danger-man Sam Curran for 63. England have been restricted to 180 in the second innings and India need 194 to chase and go 1-0 up in the series. But it's not going to be an easy run chase for the visitors.
Wicket! Stuart Broad (11) is caught at slip by Dhawan and Ishant Sharma completes a fifer. England are nine down but Sam Curran - the dangerman - is present at the crease.
Fifty! 20-year-old Sam Curran has slammed his maiden Test half-century in his 2nd game and what an outing this has been. He's looking to take the game away from India's grip. England reach 173/8.
Sam Curran who yesterday became the youngest English bowler to claim a four-wicket haul in Tests, is now the 4th youngest England batsman to make a Test fifty at 20y-61d. Only Denis Compton, Jack Crawford and Haseeb Hammed have been younger! #ENGvIND#INDvsENG— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 3, 2018
Wicket! Adil Rashid is clean bowled for 16. Umesh Yadav breaks the partnership between Sam Curran and Rashid. England - 135/8.
Match Resumes. Players walk into the middle. Sam Curran and Adil Rashid resume innings against India.
Bad light stops play as England reach 131/7 in 42 overs. The duo of Sam Curran and Adil Rashid has added 44 runs off 66 deliveries for the hosts. England's lead is worth 144.
UPDATE - Bad light stops play here at Edgbaston.— BCCI (@BCCI) August 3, 2018
England 287 & 131/7, lead India by 144 runs.#ENGvIND
Dropped! Shikhar Dhawan puts down a sitter and Adil Rashid gets a reprieve. Runs are coming quickly for the hosts England have reached 130/7 and the lead is worth 143.
Can't take the foot off the pedal. Some brilliant catching before lunch and 2 down afterwards— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 3, 2018
100 up for England in 35 overs. All hopes on the pair of Sam Curran and Adil Rashid as the hosts look to post a respectable total against India.
Wicket! Ishant Sharma has removed Jos Buttle for 1. Three wickets in an over either side of the break for Ishant Sharma, all caught by the keeper or in the slips - what a spell of fast bowling from the pacer.
It's Lunch Time Now! England lead India by 99 runs but it is the visitors who have dominated in this session. Superb bowling by Ishant, Shami and Ashwin and some brilliant catches taken by Indian fielders.
Wicket! 2nd Wicket for Ishant in a gap of two deliveries. Ben Stokes has been caught at third slip by Kohli. England have been reduced to 86/6 in 30.4 overs and lead India by 99 runs.
Fantastic bowling & catching by India-best I've seen in years - has Eng on the mat. Would take something exceptional to escape from here— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) August 3, 2018
Wicket! Caught. Ishant Sharma dismisses Jonny Bairstow for 24. In-swinging length ball, outside off stump on the back foot defending, outside edge to second slip, by Dhawan. India's morning gets better and better. Ishant has been threatening the outside of the bat, with an edge dropping short last over, but this one flies through to Dhawan. It was a very smart catch low down and there was no need to check with the third umpire on this occasion. England - 85/5 in 30.2 overs.
Wicket! David Malan - who was looking set and taking England for a big total - has been dismissed for 20. Ishant Sharma gets the breakthrough and Ajinkya Rahane takes the catch behind the stumps. England 71/4 after 26 overs.
22 overs have been bowled, Jonny Bairstow and David Malan have recovered the English innings after Ashwin removed Root and Jennings. England - 52/3.
Wicket! Ashwin strikes again and he bags the prized wicket of Joe Root (14). Brilliant catch by KL Rahul at leg slip and England lost their second wicket of the morning. England - 39/3.
The ball from Ashwin to dismiss Root spun 5.6°, almost 4° more than the previous delivery. This pitch is just starting offer Ashwin some serious grip. #ENGvIND— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) August 3, 2018
Wicket! Ashwin draws the first blood on Day 3 as Keaton Jennings is edges him and is caught at gully by Rahul. England: 21/2 in 7.4 overs.
Excellent start, getting Jennings early. India wouldn't want to chase too many more than 240 in the fourth innings. Root's wicket crucial— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) August 3, 2018
At the end of 6 overs, England are 15/1 against India. Jennings and Root are looking to bat long. Mohammed Shami and Ashwin are bowling.
Keaton Jennings is a very adept sweeper of the ball when facing spin bowling. He scores at 8.75rpo with the shot, and has never been dismissed playing it - it'll most likely form the basis of his strategy against Ashwin. #ENGvIND— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) August 3, 2018
Game Starts! England resume innings on Day 3 from 9/1 in 3.4 overs. Keaton Jennings and Joe Root are out into the middle. Ashwin starts with the ball.
Harsha Bhogle on Root's batting effort in second innings. Is it going to be a concern for India?
Joe Root's 2nd innings average is better than in the 1st innings. And he will have to play a decisive innings today for his team. It is cloudy though and that might help India's bowlers— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 3, 2018