Joe Root ton leads England's fightback in Lord's Test against India

Anderson out last ball of the day as hosts make 391 to take 27-run lead

England captain Joe Root held the innings together with a sublime century as the hosts fought back in the second Test at Lord's against India on Saturday.

Root remained unbeaten on a majestic 180 as the hosts were bowled out for 391 off the final ball of the day, taking a crucial first innings lead of 27 in the second of a five-match series.

England were in complete control of the match after the opening two sessions, with 57 from Jonny Bairstow and sizeable contributions from Jos Buttler (23) and Moeen Ali (27) giving the home team hopes of a lead of over 100 runs.

At one stage, England were 341-5 in reply to India's 364, but a burst of wickets later in the day from Ishant Sharma (3-69) and Mohammad Siraj (4-94) brought Virat Kohli's team back into the match.

But the day belonged to Root. He hit his second century of the series to hold the innings together on Day 3.

Root became the second English batsman after Alastair Cook to score 9,000 Test runs after completing his 22nd ton. He hit 18 boundaries in a 321-ball knock.

Root's 22nd Test century equalled the tallies of Walter Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott and Ian Bell. Only Kevin Pietersen (23) and Alastair Cook (33) have scored more hundreds at this level for England.

It was a significant turnaround for the home team who were struggling on 23-2 when Root walked out to bat on Friday.

After adding 85 runs with Rory Burns to arrest the slide, Root forged a century stand with Jonny Bairstow to consolidate England's position.

They batted throughout the morning session, much to the frustration of the Indian bowlers who tried all they could but just could not separate them.

While Root, who scored 64 and 109 in the drawn series opener in Nottingham, maintained his form, Bairstow regained his with a fighting 57- his first Test fifty in 20 innings.

Siraj broke the stand when he had Bairstow caught in the slip after cramping him for room as the batsman tried to pull a short-pitched delivery from round the wicket, right before the new ball became available.

Root, at the other end, brought up his hundred with a tight single off Jasprit Bumrah.

It was then the turn of veteran quick Ishant to force his way through the middle order. The right-arm pacer first castled Buttler through the gate. Next man Moeen had retreated almost entirely after his bright start and he was beaten by Ishant on a handful of occasions before finally nicking one in defence.

It was a tough, low chance but Kohli got his fingers underneath it to seal the all-rounder's dismissal for 27. Ishant made it two in two as he welcomed Sam Curran with ball that demanded attention and did just enough to take the edge and sail at a more comfortable height to Rohit.

But Root continued to play nearly chanceless innings. As he approached a deserved double century, he began to run out of partners. Ollie Robinson survived three tight lbw shouts in a single over from Siraj, before the seamer finally persuaded umpire Michael Gough to raise the finger. And after Mark Wood was run out, No 11 James Anderson was tasked with taking his team to stumps, with the lead already acquired.

Anderson battled valiantly, taking a hit to the head from a Jasprit Bumrah bouncer. He showed great courage in the third-last over of the day from Bumrah, which was a 10-ball over full of short balls. But his defences failed him on the last delivery of the day, Mohammed Shami hitting his off-stump.

It was a particularly poor day with the ball for Bumrah, who sent down 13 no-balls — the most by an Indian in an innings in nearly 20 years.

Updated: August 14th 2021, 6:23 PM
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