Salem Radio Network News Saturday, August 13, 2022

Sports

Cricket-India well ahead despite another rapid Bairstow ton

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – A charged-up Jonny Bairstow smashed a rapid 106, his third hundred in four innings, providing the bedrock for England’s 284 all out in reply to India’s 416 on day three of the rescheduled fifth test at Edgbaston on Sunday.

India reached 37-1 at tea for an overall lead of 169 with Cheteshwar Pujara (17) and Hanuma Vihari (10) batting.

Earlier, an on-field altercation with India’s Virat Kohli appeared to fire up Bairstow who defied pressure and played some breathtaking shots to rescue England.

Ben Stokes was dropped twice in the morning session but the England captain could not capitalise on the reprieves and departed for 25.

Stokes, on 18, came dancing down the track to Mohammed Shami but miscued the ball and Shardul Thakur dropped the skier at cover much to the bowler’s dismay.

Thakur suffered Shami’s agony when Bumrah dropped a sitter at mid-off to give Stokes another let-off.

Bumrah immediately redeemed himself, however, by taking a stunning diving catch when Stokes repeated the cavalier shot to Thakur’s next delivery.

Bairstow refused to retreat into his shell and continued to attack the bowlers as he did in the home series against New Zealand last month.

The best illustration of his superb touch was when he pulled Mohammed Siraj from outside the off-stump for the first of his two sixes.

Bairstow was adjudged lbw to Thakur on 81 but the batsman reviewed the decision and replays confirmed an edge before the ball hit his pad.

The right-hander brought up his century with a boundary off Thakur and broke into an animated celebration – jumping in joy with his helmet off and his arms aloft.

A bowling change finally did the trick for India and Shami returned to dismiss Bairstow who slashed hard at a wide delivery and Kohli took a sharp catch at first slip.

Sam Billings made 36 down the order but England still fell short of the 300-mark and conceded a lead of 132.

Mohammed Siraj claimed 4-66 for India while Bumrah returned figures of 3-68.

India are 2-1 up in the series which could not be completed last year following COVID-19 cases in the India camp ahead of the final match at Old Trafford.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi, editing by Ed Osmond)

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