London, July 20 :
A sparkling 99-run partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India reach 342 all out in the second innings giving England a 319-run target. The hosts were 18 for one, 301 runs behind, at tea on day four of the second Test at Lord’s here Sunday.
Jadeja smashed 68 runs off just 57 balls while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (52) too played an excellent hand to notch his third half century of the series.
The Indian duo punished the English bowlers for their lacklustre bowling and gave India a firm grip on the match.
After dismissing Jadeja, England did manage to do some damage control by quickly taking the final two wickets.
England lost opener Sam Robson (7) early in the run chase. Captain Alastair Cook (5) and Gary Ballance were unbeaten at the crease at tea.
Earlier, Murali Vijay fell five short of a deserving century while Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten blitzkrieg extended India’s lead to 243 runs at lunch after England had rocked them with three quick wickets in the morning session.
Jadeja smashed six boundaries on his way to 37 off 30 balls and helped India reach 267 for seven after wickets of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (19), Stuart Binny (0) and Murali Vijay (95) had given the hosts the initiative.
India made a predictably slow start to the proceedings by being extremely cautious.
Both Vijay and Dhoni left alone the balls outside the off-stump. The English players didn’t bowl all that well in the first hour but a positive outcome was that they only let India eke out 34 runs.
Dhoni batted for 86 balls for his 19, his slowest test innings when scoring 10 or more.
The Indian captain had all morning refrained from poking outside the off-stump but old habits are hard to overcome and once again Dhoni prodded at a good length ball, managing to get an outside edge that was smartly taken by Ian Bell at second slip.
Binny’s lack of experience and temperament came to the fore in the very next over as he went for an ambitious lofted shot off the bowling of Moeen Ali but was brilliantly caught by English captain Alastair Cook.
All Binny needed to do was to give company to Vijay, who was batting well, at the crease but only managed to play a shot that might spell doom for his Test career.
Jadeja and Vijay then took the attack to the English bowlers adding 32 runs off just 35 balls but a flirt outside off-stump from the Indian opener ended his commendable run at the crease.
Jadeja refused to be tied down even after England took the new ball. The man referred to as ‘Sir Jadeja’, thanks to his exploits in the domestic circuit, smashed the English pacers all over the park to put the pressure back on England.
England, who haven’t chased anything above 200 since 2008 when they beat New Zealand at Old Trafford, looked a little shell-shocked by Jadeja’s aggression.
India (first innings) 295
England (first innings) 319
India (second innings, overnight 169/4)
Murali Vijay c Prior b Anderson 95
Shikhar Dhawan c Root b Stokes 31
Cheteshwar Pujara c Prior b Plunkett 43
Virat Kohli b Plunkett 0
Ajinkya Rahane c Prior b Broad 5
Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Bell b Plunkett 19
Stuart Binny c Cook b Ali 0
Ravindra Jadeja c Cook b Stokes 68
Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Bell b Stokes 52
Mohammad Shami c Prior b Ali 0
Ishant Sharma not out 0
Extras (b 19, lb 9, w 1) 29
Total (all out in 103.1 overs) 342
Fall of wickets: 1-40 (Dhawan, 13.6 overs), 2-118 (Pujara, 43.3), 3-118 (Kohli, 43.4), 4-123 (Rahane, 46.3), 5-202 (Dhoni, 75.1), 6-203 (Binny, 76.5), 7-235 (Vijay, 82.4), 8-334 (Jadeja, 99.1 ov), 9-338 (Mohammed Shami, 100.2 ov), 10-342 (Kumar, 103.1)
James Anderson 29-11-77-1
Stuart Broad 23-6-93-1
Ben Stokes 18.1-2-51-3
Liam Plunkett 22-6-65-3
Moeen Ali 11-3-28-2
England (second innings)
Sam Robson lbw b Jadeja 7
Alastair Cook batting 5
Gary Ballance batting 1
Extras (b 2, lb 3) 5
Total (for one wicket in 10 overs) 18
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Robson, 6.1 overs)
Mohammad Shami 2-0-9-0
Ishant Sharma 2-2-0-0
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-2-2-0
Ravindra Jadeja 2-1-2-1