Twitter Reactions: Late strikes put England ahead of India at Lord's after Rahane-Pujara stand

Rahane and Pujara added 100 runs for fourth wickets to bail India out of trouble to some extent.

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Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The enthralling Test match at Lord’s between England and India continued on the fourth day as well. The hosts kept it tight with the ball struck thrice in the first and last session each to undo all the hard work done by Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. India have a lead of 154 runs with only four wickets in hand and going into final day’s play, England are the favourites but even the pitch has started to play its tricks and it will be fascinating to see who ends up winning the Test.

The day began with India 27 runs behind and they didn’t get off to a good start. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma both were undone by Mark Wood’s pace. While Rahul edged one behind to the keeper, his partner threw it away playing a hook shot not for the first time on this tour. Virat Kohli also didn’t do much and played at a needless delivery outside the off-stump only to edge it to Jos Buttler. He scored 20 runs.

At 55/3, India were in deep trouble with the lead being only 28 runs and the two out of form batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were in the middle. Both have been struggling for runs for quite some time and this was a crucial knock for them. And the duo didn’t disappoint. Their dogged defence came to their rescue on the day with Pujara literally taking 35 balls to open his account while Rahane also playing with caution.

India didn’t lose a single wicket in the second session thanks to them as they added 49 runs in a massive 28 overs. Though the runs didn’t come at a fair clip, Pujara and Rahane made sure India didn’t collapse. England bowlers tried everything including a short-ball barrage but they didn’t deter keeping them at bay.

Runs flow in final session but India lose quick wickets

By the time the final session began, both the batsmen were extremely comfortable in the middle. Rahane, among the two, started playing some of his shots as well and got to the well-deserved half-century. In the process, they completed 100 runs of partnership too and at 155/3, things looked pretty comfortable.

However, Mark Wood delivered an unplayable delivery to Pujara to find his edge. A length delivery shot up suddenly to catch the batsman by surprise and India’s stubborn number three got out after scoring 45 off a huge 206 runs with four fours to his name. India were jolted soon with Rahane poking at one off Moeen Ali after mustering 61 runs to undo all the hard work they done through the day.

Moeen continued to strike for England as he castled Ravindra Jadeja with a jaffa to leave India reeling at the fag end of the day. Bad light played its role in the final hour as the visitors could reach 181/6 after 82 overs with a lead of 154 runs. Rishabh Pant will be key for them on the final day as they would look to take the lead past 200 runs and Ishant Sharma and rest of the bowlers will have to hang around in the middle.

The pitch has deteriorated quite a bit now and it remains to be seen if it will make England’s run-scoring hard too in the fourth innings.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:



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