London: India had their backs to the wall in the second Test against England as they went to stumps on Day 4 at Lord’s at 181/6 in their second innings, just 154 runs ahead.
Stumps were called early, with eight overs remaining, as England decided to take the new ball in fading light and the umpires called it a day.
India were struggling at 55 for three when Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane stitched together exactly 100 runs for the fourth wicket but England claimed three late wickets as the visitors slumped from 155 for three to 181 for six, with only wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and the tail remaining.
England will be relishing their chances as they were made to work hard in the second session as Pujara and Rahane added 49 runs between lunch and tea, scoring at an agonisingly slow rate as they repaired the innings with patience and caution.
Pujara (45) got out with the score on 155 as he was felled by a snorter by Mark Wood and gave a catch to skipper Joe Root at second slip. Rahane too got out for 61 after the hard work as he was caught by Jos Buttler off spinner Moeen Ali.
Ali stuck once more when he got Ravindra Jadeja bowled with a brilliant one that spun enough to deceive the batsman.
The three wickets in the final hour tilted the balanc’ in England’s favour’while India’s hopes will rest with Pant to score some quick runs on Monday morning so that India could set a target of over 200 runs.
Brief scores: India 364 and 161 for 6 in 82 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 45, Ajinkya Rahane 61, Rohit Sharma 21, Virat Kohli 20, Mark Wood 3/40, Moeen Ali 2/52) vs England 391.