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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Jasprit Bumrah heroics put India on cusp of famous Test win at Trent Bridge

Seamer takes five wickets after ending 169-run Jos Buttler-Ben Stokes stand on Day 4 as India are one England dismissal away from victory

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah, second from right, was in brilliant form on Tuesday. AFP
India pacer Jasprit Bumrah, second from right, was in brilliant form on Tuesday. AFP

India closed in on victory over England in the third Test match at Trent Bridge on the back of an inspired spell from Jasprit Bumrah on Tuesday.

Fast bowler Bumrah, who missed the first two Tests due to a thumb injury, took 5-85 as England finished on 311-9 at stumps on Day 4. Take the last wicket on Wednesday, and India will keep alive their bid to win a first Test series on English soil since 2007.

England lead the five-match series 2-0 after winning the Edgbaston Test by 31 runs and the Lord's match by an innings and 159 runs.

Whatever the outcome of the match and series, though, Bumrah's spell will likely be remembered for a long time to come. The right-armer ended a 169-run stand between Jos Buttler (106) and Ben Stokes (62) just when it looked like England could do the improbable by chasing 521 for victory.

The hosts slipped from 231-4 to 231-6 in the space of two balls when Bumrah trapped Buttler in front of the wicket and bowled out Jonny Bairstow - injured after fracturing a finger on the previous day - for nought immediately after.

Bumrah, who had dismissed captain Joe Root earlier in the day, then sent Chris Woakes - centurion in the Lord's Test - back to the pavilion for four. His other wicket was that of Stuart Broad (20).

Hardik Pandya also got into the act at the other end, dismissing fellow all-rounder Stokes.

India had appeared to be on their way to a colossal win when England slumped to 62-4 before lunch. But the hosts recovered to 173-4 at tea, with Buttler batting on 67 and Stokes unbeaten on 42.

The stand at least helped England regain some self-respect by ensuring they got through a session without losing a wicket. But the pair had their moments of good fortune along the way.

England batsman Jos Buttler scored his first Test hundred on Tuesday. Getty Images
England batsman Jos Buttler scored his first Test hundred on Tuesday. Getty Images

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

Left-hander 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 10th four in 93 balls faced.

England were skittled out for just 161 in their first innings, with unheralded medium-pacer Pandya taking 5-28, and it looked like more of the same when they collapsed to 62-4.

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.

However, England lost their first wicket just five balls into Tuesday's play when fast bowler Ishant 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.

England's 27-1 soon became 32-2 when Ishant had Alastair Cook (17) edging one that straightened late to second-slip Lokesh Rahul.

Jos Buttler, left, and Ben Stokes came together when England were tottering at 62-4. Getty Images
Jos Buttler, left, and Ben Stokes came together when England were tottering at 62-4. Getty Images

England then lost their next two wickets on 64, Root (13) and Ollie Pope (16) both caught in the cordon.

Root tried to force a Bumrah delivery he could have left and Rahul, still at second slip, held the sharp chance - his fifth catch of the match.

As if to emphasise just how superior India's slip-fielding had been to England's this Test, Kohli then leapt high to his left at third slip to hold a superb catch that dismissed Pope, playing in just his second Test.

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