Birmingham, July 3: The third day of the rescheduled fifth and final Test largely belonged to India as they tightened the screws on hosts England in Birmingham on Sunday.
India ended Day 3 on top as they headed into the penultimate day with a strong 257-run lead with seven wickets in hand. After the Indian pacers bowled out England for 284 in 61.3 overs, Cheteshwar Pujara's half-century saw India put themselves in a strong position at Edgbaston.
On a day when Jonny Bairstow, who took time to settle down, and then went on to score a sizzling hundred, it was the visiting Indian side who find themselves at the top.
After bowling England out, India lost Shubman Gill early in their second innings. But despite James Anderson's first over strike Pujara and first innings centurion Rishabh Pant kept India on course.
The duo stitched together an ubeaten fourth wicket stand of 50 off 91 to guide India to 125/3 at the end of day's play. Pant (30 not out) and Pujara (50 not out) remained unbeaten for the visiting side after 45 overs of play in India's second innings.
Earlier, England resumed the day with five wickets down with Bairstow and skipper Ben Stokes at the crease. The inform Bairstow lifted the hosts out of the woods along with Stokes (25). The pair rebuild England's innings with a sixth wicket partnership of 66 off 75.
After Shardul Thakur handed India the breakthrough with Stokes' wicket, Sam Billings and Bairstow scored the highest partnership of England's first innings. The duo troubled the Indian bowlers with a seventh wicket stand of 92 off 105. A superb bowling change by India's stand-in skipper Jasprit Bumrah, saw the set Bairstow caught by Virat Kohli at slip and that set England's wickets tumbling.
While the first session of Day 3 saw just one wicket fall, the second session accounted for five wickets. It was once again the Indian fast bowlers who were responsible for all England wickets.
Mohammed Siraj turned in the best figures with a four-wicket haul, while Bumrah picked up three. Shami accounted for two wickets, while Thakur picked up the big wicket of Stokes to bowl England out for 284 in 61.3 overs and hand India a lead of 132 runs.
With a comfortable cushion, India got off to a shaky start losing opener Gill in the very first over. Though England kept themselves in contention with crucial wickets of Hanuma Vihari (11) and Virat Kohli (20), the visitors ended the day on a strong note.
With Pant and Pujara at crease and seven wickets in hand with a lead of over 250 runs, Bumrah's side find themselves in a strong position.