London– Ollie Pope (38 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (34 not out) led England’s fightback against Indian in the opening session of the second day in the fourth Test at The Oval. At lunch, England were 139/5 and trail by 52 runs.
Resuming on 53/3, the first hour of the session belonged to India as they picked up wickets of overnight batsmen while conceding only 25 runs.
Nightwatchman Craig Overton didn’t last long as he edged the 10th ball of the day to Virat Kohli at first slip, becoming Umesh Yadav’s 150th scalp in Test cricket.
Yadav had his second wicket of the day when Dawid Malan pushed hard at a length delivery and was caught in slips by Rohit Sharma diving to his left.
Things began to change when Pope and Bairstow joined forces at 62/5 for a counter-attack. Suddenly, India lost the plot. In overs 31 to 34, the bowlers conceded eight boundaries.
As Pope and Bairstow punished the deliveries coming full and straight on pads, India tried correcting the mistake by bowling short and outside the off-stump. But the result remained the same as England collected runs quickly. A straight drive by Bairstow off Yadav brought the 50-run partnership for the sixth wicket in just 9.1 overs.
The second hour of the session belonged to England with 47/0. With the partnership between Pope and Bairstow unbeaten at 77 runs, England wrested back the momentum from India before lunch.
Brief scores (Lunch, Day 2): England 139/5 in 42 overs (Ollie Pope 38 not out, Jonny Bairstow 34 not out, Umesh Yadav 3/49, Jasprit Bumrah 2/27) vs India 191, trail by 52 runs.(IANS)