Mumbai: India rode on solid batting by Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara to post 146/1 in their first innings at the end of the second day of the fourth cricket Test against England here on Friday.
Coming together at the fall of opener Lokesh Rahul, Vijay and Pujara added 107 runs between them. India now trail England by 254 runs. Vijay was unbeaten on 70 at the close of the day’s play while Pujara was on 47. Off-spinner Moeen Ali was the only England bowler to manage a wicket with figures of 1-44. Chasing England’s first innings total of 400, the hosts lost Rahul early when Ali found the gap between his bat and pad.
Earlier, England were bowled out for 400 runs in their first innings after lunch. A resilient half-century from Jos Buttler guided them to the mark in the second session of the day. Buttler scored 76 runs with six boundaries and a six before being being bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. Buttler was given company by Jake Ball (31). They put on 54 runs for the ninth wicket.
Resuming at England’s overnight score of 288/5, Buttler struck the crucial half-century to pull England towards a decent first innings score. India’s premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin returned figures of 6-112 to pick up his 23rd five-wicket haul in Tests. His spin partner Jadeja snared the remaining wickets for figures of 4-109.
Ashwin provided India with the day’s first breakthrough early in the first session, dismissing Ben Stokes (31) who was caught by Virat Kohli at slip. The ball clipped wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel’s pads before landing to India captain Virat Kohli, who quickly asked for a review. The third umpire judged it in India’s favour.
Chris Woakes prodded his way to 11 runs, before getting undone by a sharp turning delivery that kissed his bat and was sharply caught by Patel. Adil Rashid also went soon after, leaving a straight Jadeja delivery which went on to hit his stumps. England were reduced to 334/8 and were staring of being bowled out under 350. But Buttler and Ball then began the resurrection work, putting on a 54-run stand for the ninth wicket.