London, Sep 6 (IANS) India were able to keep England in check by scalping two wickets in the first session on the fifth day of the fourth Test at The Oval. At lunch, England are 131/2 in 59 overs with Haseeb Hameed (batting on 62) and Joe Root (batting on eight) at the crease.
Resuming from 77/0, Rory Burns got two boundaries off Umesh Yadav to begin the first hour of the session on a confident note.
Shardul Thakur’s first over was greeted with a flick by Burns on the first ball. Burns notched up his half-century on the next ball. However, Thakur had the last laugh as Burns tried to defend with the straight bat, but the ball, pitched around off, straightened with the seam, taking the edge behind to keeper Rishabh Pant.
Hameed reached his second fifty of the series in Ravindra Jadeja’s first over of the day. The left-arm spinner almost had Hameed dismissed at 55 if not for Mohammed Siraj spilling the catch at mid-on.
Dawid Malan (5) survived an lbw appeal on umpire’s call off Jadeja, who caused some problems for the left-handed batsman. But Malan was run out in the 53rd over as Hameed called for a quick single off the first ball of Jadeja’s over. Mayank Agarwal, the substitute fielder at cover point, ran across and fired a lightning throw to Pant, who whipped off the bails as Malan fell short of his ground.
Hammed didn’t give much chances with the bat after the drop off Siraj. Root played some nice shots to ensure there were no further setbacks for England. There was some turn from the rough for Jadeja and a hint of reverse swing for the pacers. The match is still tantalisingly poised with all results possible.
Brief scores (Lunch, Day 5): England 290 and 131/2 in 59 overs (Haseeb Hameed 62 not out, Rory Burns 50, Shardul Thakur 1/15) vs India 191 and 466, need 237 runs to win.