Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha/Dattaraj Thaly
New Delhi:England dominated Day 2 of the fifth Test against India at the Oval in London. Joe Root slammed an unbeaten 92 as England took a substantial first innings lead of 237 runs on the second day to tighten their grip on the fifth and final cricket Test against a hapless India here on Saturday.
Resuming the day on 62 for no loss after bundling India out for 148 yesterday, England scored at a brisk pace by adding 323 runs today from 86 overs to end the day on 385 for seven at an Oval pitch which has eased out considerably.
The first Test at Nottingham had been drawn. India won the second Test at Lord`s by 95 runs, before losing in Southampton by 266 runs and later at Old Trafford by an innings and 54 runs to concede an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series
Over 105 || Score 385/7
Joe Root raced to an unbeaten 92 as he scored 5 boundaries in four overs. He attacked at every opportunity and did not look to just see the day through. Jodan kept picking the singles to return the strike to the in-form Yorkshire batsman. Dhoni brought on Ashwin for the last over of the day but the English duo safely negotiated the off-spinner to end the day with an undefeated 67-run partnership for the 8th wicket.
Over 100 || Score 352/5
Joet Root began to motor along after losing Buttler. He scored three boundaries off 2 overs to reach an unbeaten score of 70. Chris Jordan gave him solid company by batting well at the other end. Dhoni experimented with Kumar, Sharma, Aaron and Binny by bowling them in successive overs. England's lead is 204.
Over 95 || Score 318/7
Bhuvi took England's seventh wicket as Woakes tried to flick a poor delivery down the leg. He got a faint edge on the ball and Dhoni dove to his left to take a great catch. Bhuvi was almost embarrassed to take that wicket off such a poor ball. To be fair, he has bowled gems and been unlucky as well.
Ishant picked up his second wicket of the innings as Jos Buttler flicked a delivery on middle and leg stump straight into the hands of short midwicket. Dhoni's excellent field placement paid dividends as the dangerous Buttler departed for 45.
Chris Woakes c †Dhoni b Kumar 0 (3b )
Jos Buttler c Ashwin b Sharma 45 (73b)
Over 296/5 || Score 90
Ishant and Bhuvi kept things tight and bowled three maiden overs between them before finally conceding a run. Buttler moved to 33, while Root is unbeaten on 38. India have not made any inroads after they were handed the second new ball. England's lead is now 148 runs.
Over 84 || Score 285/5
India took the second new ball and Dhoni immediately brought on Bhuvi. Buttler and Root kept the score board ticking and rotated the strike nicely. Aaron shared the new ball with Bhuvi and went for two boundaries in his first over.
Over 80 || Score 265/5
Dhoni operated with Binny and Ashwin during the first spell after the tea break. The off-spinner bowled well and seemed to have found his form back as he tested Buttler and Root. Binny bowled with confidence and kept things tight at the other end. The English batsmen stretched their lead to 120 runs.
Tea, Day 2
England went to Tea with a lead of 98. Finally India managed to win a session of play as they picked up four wickets after coming back from the lunch break. MS Dhoni's side is still behind in this Test but they showed a bit of fight in that session.
Over 73 || Score 246/5
Ashwin bowled the last over before tea. He was gently tucked down on the leg side by Buttler to pick up four runs off the last ball. The England wicketkeeper has quickly moved to 12 off 10 balls with three boundaries. He has Joe Root for company, who has played a steady knock so far and is on 12.
Over 70 || Score 234/5
Ashwin picked up his second wicket in as many overs as Moeen Ali played one on. The left-hander was in two minds whether to play the ball or leave it. In the he bottom edged the ball on to his stumps. Jos Buttler come to bat after Ali departed. Half the England side is now back in the pavilion.
Moeen Ali b Ashwin 14 (24b )
Over 65 || Score 220/4
Ishant Sharma dismissed Ian Bell with a very good delivery that was in the corridor of uncertainty. The right-hander poked at it and edged the ball to Dhoni who made no mistake in taking the catch. Moeen Ali walked to into the middle after England lost their fourth wicket.
Ian Bell c Dhoni b Sharma 7 (16b)
Over 63 || Score 201/3
England lost their third wicket as Ashwin had Ballance caught at silly point. The left-hander just played a forward defensive shot to the offie and Pujara picked up the catch at a comfortable height. Ballance will be gutted at the manner of his dismissal. He was playing extremely well and looked set to get a hundred today.
Gary Ballance c Pujara b Ashwin 64 (117b )
Over 58 || Score 191/2
Cook tried to drive Aaron's ball that was edge to the slips and Vijay took a good low catch. Finally India took a catch in the slips this morning after dropping two. Cook could not get that hundred, which he so desperately wanted. Nonetheless, he has put England firmly in the drivers seat in this match.
Alastair Cook c M. Vijay b Varun Aaron 79 (183b)
Over 55 || Score 179/1
Alastair Cook was dropped again as he forced off his back foot. The ball went to the right of Ajinkya Rahane, who dropped the catch, after a thick edge of Cook's bat. It wasn't as easy as Vijay's catch but still should have been taken. This is the second catch that has been dropped in the slips in the last 15 minutes.
Over 50 || Score 172/1
India's poor form in the field continued as Vijay dropped Cook off Aaron in the first slip. Varun produced the edge from the left-hander as he tried to push at a ball bowled from around the wicket. The Jharkhand speedster was brought into the attack after Bhuvi and Ashwin started the post lunch proceedings for India.
Lunch, Day 2
After Varun Aaron cleaned up Sam Robson, the duo of Cook and Ballance took charge of the situation to put England in command as they put on an undefeated 82-run stand. They have not fished at anything outside the off-stump and punished the many poor deliveries bowled at them. Cook is batting on 56 and the in-form Ballance is undefeated on 40.
Over45 || Score 148/1
Cook cut Ashwin fiercely behind point to bring up his third fifty in this series. He got a warm applause from the crowd present at the Oval. Dhoni brought back Bhuvi into the attack to try and get a breakthrough but the English batsmen have retained their focus to see their team through safely to lunch.\
Over 40 || Score 133/1
Dhoni introduced Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack. Ballance and Cook have looked comfortable this morning and their have already established a 67-run partnership. England now trail by 11 runs.
Over 28|| Score 96/1
Kumar continues and Ballance dispatches one too the boundary. He has been too full and too straight and he's punished down the ground, past mid-on. Ordinary Kumar ends the over with no more runs added.
Over 27 || Score 92/1
Three runs come from Aaron's over which included a no-ball. It has been easy for Cook so far.
Over 26 || Score 89/1
One run comes from the Kumar over. Again being a shade towards leg stump. This line will not help India at all.
Over 25 || Score 88/1
Simply amazing from Cook who gets an easy three after a gentle push towards long off. Ballance then hits two boundaries as 11 runs come from Aaron's over. He has been faring costly. Inexperience act for the like of Aaron. Too early for Test cricket?
Over 24 || Score 77/1
Kumar has been more on the leg side and two runs come from the over. He has got worser as the series has progressed with little pace and wrong length.
Over 23 || Score 75/1
Aaron to Cook, FOUR, shot! He pitched in short that angled across Cook. Hammered well in front of square and the ball whistled away to the square leg boundary. The rest of the over sees Cook defend it. Ordinary bowling this.
Over 22 || Score 71/1
One run taken by Cook in the final ball and that sums up Kumar's over.
Over 21 || Score 70/1
Varun Aaron has been given the responsibility to share the bowling with Kumar. Robson opens the face of the bat and guides one past gully for a four. Short stuff this from Aaron. The next delivery and Aaron gets Robson. Full length delivery and that deceived Robson. Ballance is the new man and he guides the last ball of the over for a four in the third man region. Easy runs these.
SD Robson b Aaron 37 (70b )
Over 20 || Score 62/0
Kumar starts off the day's proceedings with a maiden. Cook cautious to keep himself intact.
So welcome to the fifth day's play.
England are in top of proceedings at the Oval and the outcome of the Test match so far has been similar to that of Manchester. It looks like it will end on the same note as Manchester too. India were packed for a paltry 148 yesterday and their batting have entered a new low.
Only MS Dhoni stood tall and scored a well made 82.
Dhoni registered his fourth fifty of the series and has been a rare success of a otherwise failed batting unit apart from the early success of Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane. With the way things are going so far, India look all set for an early submission and the Test might well finish within three days. May be even two and a half or today itself.
The well knit English batters will hope to get maximum from today`s play and look to pile on runs and see a perfect outing for them to set the tone on a positive manner. The openers have set the platform and everything looks good for Alastair Cook`s side as England who are 62/0 may well finish the proceedings today.
This Indian batting need 40 odd overs to be bowled out and with their application so far, 30-35 overs may just be fine. England bowlers need to party and the need one innings before setting the atmosphere alive.