Bairstow-Woakes alliance puts England on top

Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes add 189 for the sixth wicket to help the home side build a sizeable first-innings lead.

Chris Woakes (right) celebrates his maiden Test century in the final session of a one-sided Day Three at Lord’s.   -  Getty Images

For a while on Saturday, it seemed as if India would make a match of this after all. An inspired burst from Mohammed Shami had left England four down at lunch. Joe Root was gone and the ball was doing something.

It all unravelled pretty quickly in the afternoon, however. Chris Woakes scored his maiden Test match hundred and Jonny Bairstow a typically busy 93 as England gained complete control of the second Test. At stumps, the lead had ballooned to a neat 250, Woakes unbeaten on 120. It is expected that most of Day Four will be lost to rain but the home side will feel still confident of forcing a result.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Lord's was a delight to behold on the third morning: green turf, bright sunshine, a new red ball, and a packed house. It is a sight that can only be described as glorious. Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook, fed a couple of deliveries on the pads, started confidently enough. Shami was first to break through, pinning Jennings lbw with a full delivery that swung into the left-hander. At the other end, Ishant Sharma changed his approach, coming from around the wicket, and was rewarded almost at once. Cook was suckered into pushing at one that straightened and was caught behind.

Ollie Pope looked fairly confident for a young man making his debut. The 20-year-old struck the ball well and seemed completely at ease until he was surprised by a delivery from Hardik Pandya that swung back in sharply. A few minutes later, Shami dismissed Root with a similar ball, trapping the England captain in front for 19. Lunch was taken with England 89 for four. India's bowlers were buzzing and it seemed the lead may not be a threatening one after all.

Slipping away

On the other side of the break, Jos Buttler, who like many before him had begun well, was claimed by yet another fine ball from Shami, a full delivery that tailed in at great pace. This united Woakes and Bairstow at the crease, and the two would go on to add 189 runs for the sixth wicket. India opted for a second spinner in Kuldeep Yadav despite the conditions that prevailed on the second morning. It is a move Virat Kohli may come to regret in hindsight. There was no great turn for the left-armer; additionally it meant Pandya had to function as the third seamer. The Baroda cricketer did not bowl badly but he does not carry the same threat that someone like Umesh Yadav would have.

As India's bowlers tired, Woakes and Bairstow simply cashed in, putting loose balls — of which there were many — away. R. Ashwin was introduced only after 38 overs but he had no help from the pitch either. Kuldeep finished the day with figures of 0 for 44 from nine overs, struggling with his length late in the evening. Bairstow fell nine short of what would have been a fine hundred, held by a diving Dinesh Karthik off Pandya. But he, and England, had done enough.

India, meanwhile, will pray for a miracle.

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