LONDON: England finally saw the back of India opener Murali Vijay before Ravindra Jadeja counter-attacked Sunday to leave the second Test at Lord´s headed for a tense finish.
India in their second innings were 267 for seven at lunch on the fourth day — a lead of 243 runs. Jadeja was 37 not out off just 30 balls, including six fours, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar unbeaten on 13.
Opener Vijay was on the brink of what would have been his second hundred of the series when, after more than six hours at the crease, he was caught behind for 95 off James Anderson.
India resumed in overcast conditions on 169 for four, with Vijay 59 not out and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni unbeaten on 12.Fast bowler Liam Plunkett had taken two wickets in two balls to reduce India to 118 for three on Saturday. But Vijay on-drove him for four and then struck a textbook drive off Ben Stokes to the extra-cover rope.
However, England then took two wickets for one run before the new ball to reduce India to 203 for six. First, Plunkett squared-up Dhoni, whose 19 took a laboured 86 balls, and Ian Bell at second slip held a sharp catch to end a partnership worth 79.
Under-pressure England captain Alastair Cook, much criticised for his tactics during the team´s run of nine straight Tests without a win, brought on part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali. It was a ploy that was rewarded when Ali´s fifth ball Sunday saw Stuart Binny fall for a duck as he tried to launch him over the top only for Cook, running back from mid-off, to take an excellent catch.
England took the new ball as soon as possible with India 225 for six off 80 overs. Anderson was soon bowling to Jadeja, with both players facing the possibility of being banned by the International Cricket Council as a result of their alleged confrontation in the Trent Bridge pavilion during last week´s drawn first Test.
But it was Vijay, who made 146 in Nottingham, who fell next when he flicked at the kind of Anderson delivery he´d so often left during a 247-ball stay and gave wicketkeeper Matt Prior a simple catch. But left-hander Jadeja, chancing his arm, drove Broad back over his head for four and pulled him for another boundary. Broad though should have dismissed Kumar but fourth slip Joe Root dropped a head-high chance.