Advantage England despite Pujara-Rahane defensive masterclass

    England players celebrate Indian wicket Virat Kohli. Photo: Reuters

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    England players celebrate Indian wicket Virat Kohli. Photo: Reuters

    Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara created a defensive masterclass to keep India alive, but England seemed responsible for the second test after an exciting fourth-day game at Lord’s on Sunday.

    India were 181-6, 154 ahead when the bad light stopped playing with Rishabh Pant, the last recognized batsman, at 14 and Ishant Sharma with four.

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    India started the second inning with 27 runs back and by the time they eliminated this deficit, both open forms were back at the stand.

    Mark Wood (3-40) drew his first blood when he ousted K.L.

    His next overthrow was a full of events that ended with the dismissal of Rohit Sharma for 21.

    Rohit dragged a ball at chest height out of the stump and pulled it for a bold six, but Wood had the last laugh in that duel.

    The last ball of that over was similar and this time Rohit could not mediate the ball and Moeen Ali got a kick in the deep square foot.

    India needed Governor Virat Kohli to set the example, just like Joe Root’s other number, whose undefeated 180 was the foundation of England’s 391st first generation.

    But Sam Koran had other ideas.

    Collie played some great tracks in his 20s before Curran found the tip of the Indian captain’s bat.

    Putzara entered the race without fifty in his last 10 appearances and Lieutenant Rahan also lacked running.

    Known as batteries in a lineup full of aggressive winners, they both showed their courage in a tough 100 run collaboration.

    Putzara, who made 45, needed 35 balls to get away from the mark, but he was able to deliver enough to soften the English attack.

    Rahane got stuck in the other end of the box, with the help of a waiting tackle on the 31st, when Jonny Bairstow had a hard time clearing the ball.

    They kept England at bay for almost 50 overs before Wood ended Pujara’s 206-ball vigil with an unplayed tradition that the winner could only deflect to slip.

    Moeen fired Rahane for 61 and Ravindra Jadeja for three to expose India’s tail.

    Wood injured his right shoulder during the pitch and put him very tight.

    The opening match of the series of five tests with rain ended in a draw.

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