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15-Aug-2021 04:02:00 GMT
Eng vs Ind - 2nd Test, The Lord's, day 3

Root unbeaten 180 helps England open up lead over India

England 391 (Root 180*, Bairstow 57, Siraj 4-94, Ishant 3-69) lead India 364 (Rahul 129, Rohit 83, Anderson 5-62) by 246 runs

London: England captain Joe Root made a second masterful century in the space of a week, but the second Test is deliciously poised after India's resurgence late on day three.

Just like last Saturday at Trent Bridge, Root imperiously carried the home side, this time batting through a sun-kissed day for an unbeaten 180 at Lord's.

He was supported by Jonny Bairstow, whose 57 was his first Test half-century for two years, while Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler chipped in with 27 and 23 respectively.

Just as England looked set for a healthy first-innings lead, Ishant Sharma removed Moeen and Sam Curran in successive deliveries.

The hosts were eventually bowled out for 391 - an advantage of 27 - off the final ball of a compelling, entertaining day.

The direction of the match will now be shaped by India's second innings, with the tourists set to bat again on a pitch that remains slow and flat, albeit with the occasional hint of low bounce.

England were fragile in the drawn first Test and in a vulnerable position when India reached 276-3 on the first day here, but have fought back through the two all-time greats in their side - Root and James Anderson.

While Root was left to play a virtual lone hand at Trent Bridge, the support he received from the middle order here not only helped England back into this match, but may bode well for the future.

Bairstow has endured a difficult two-year period in which he has lost the wicketkeeping gloves, been dropped, recalled, rested and shunted around the order.

He showed glimpses in Nottingham and went further here, scoring freely in the first hour. Although he was able to reach his first fifty since the 2019 Ashes Test on this ground, the disappointment is that he was out pulling for the second time in a week, this time gloving Siraj to slip.

Buttler has looked out of touch, but was feeling his way until he was bowled through the gate, while the recalled Moeen's judgement was excellent before he edged to first slip.

Mark Wood helped England into the lead, only to be run out in a mix-up - Root's only mistake - while last man Anderson bravely came through being hit on the helmet by Jasprit Bumrah during a barrage of short-pitched bowling before being cleaned up by Mohammed Shami.

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