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Buttler, Stokes stall India march

AFP
Published : Aug 22, 2018, 1:04 am IST
Updated : Aug 22, 2018, 1:04 am IST

India were on course for a colossal win when England slumped to 62/4 before lunch on the fourth day.

England’s Ben Stokes (right) greets teammate Jos Buttler on the fourth day of their third Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)
 England’s Ben Stokes (right) greets teammate Jos Buttler on the fourth day of their third Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)

Nottingham (United Kingdom): Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes frustrated India with an unbroken century stand as England at last showed some fight with the bat in the third Test at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

India were on course for a colossal win when England slumped to 62/4 before lunch on the fourth day.

But England, 2-0 up in this five-match series, had recovered to 173/4 at tea, with Buttler 67 not out and recalled all-rounder Stokes 42 not out.

That still left England needing a further 348 runs to reach a huge target of 521. The most any side has made to win in the fourth innings of a Test is the West Indies’ 418 for seven against Australia at St John’s Antigua, in 2003.

But Buttler and Stokes’s stand, so far worth 111 runs, had at least helped England regain some self-respect by ensuring they got through a session without losing a wicket.

The pair had their moments of good fortune along the way.

Buttler was dropped on one by debutant wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant and on 35 he edged fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah only for the ball to bounce in front of Cheteshwar Pujara, stood too deep at first slip.

55

Left-handed batsman Stokes — recalled by England just days after his acquittal on an affray charge following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year — had made 38 when he was rapped on the pad by Ravichandran Ashwin. India reviewed the not out decision for lbw, with off-spinner Ashwin’s delivery seemingly having straightened enough to hit the stumps.

Stokes, however, survived on umpire’s call.

But both batsmen defended solidly and Buttler completed his fifty in style when he cover-drove Bumrah for a tenth four in 93 balls faced.

Familiar collapse

England were skittled out for just 161 in their first innings, with unheralded medium-pacer Hardik Pandya taking 5/28, and it looked like more of the same when they collapsed to 62 for four on Monday.

It was the 31st occasion in their past 62 Test innings since 2016 that England had lost their fourth wicket having scored 100 or fewer runs.

England had been shown the way by India captain Virat Kohli, who was far from his fluent best but still made 103 on Monday and Pujara who demonstrated a patient application in grinding out 72 off 208 balls in more than four hours at the crease.

England, however, lost their first wicket just five balls into Tuesday’s play when fast bowler Sharma, testing the left-handed openers from round the wicket, got one to straighten away from the flat-footed Keaton Jennings (13), who was caught behind.

Tags: hardik pandya, jos buttler, ben stokes, virat kohli