Bairstow, Woakes hand England massive advantage

Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes frustrated the Indian bowling attack in the second session to put England in total control of the second Test at Lord’s. Having lost four wickets in the first session, the hosts parted with only one post lunch, scoring 141 runs in the process that completely shifted the momentum.

England came out with positive intent in the second session, fetching plenty of boundaries at the start. Jos Buttler kept shuffling across to disturb the lengths to get on top of the bowlers as the hosts added 42 runs off the first 39 balls in the session. Ultimately, that technique led to his downfall as Mohammed Shami bowled one full on middle to trap the batsman leg-before-wicket to add to his tally. At this point in time, the lead was just 24 and India would have sensed an opportunity to keep it to 50 with half of the English batsmen back in the pavilion.

However, Bairstow and Woakes blunted the Indian attack initially to get through Shami and Ishant Sharma’s testing spell. In a quest for a desperate breakthrough, India wasted a review. With the seamers tiring out, Virat Kohli introduced Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack for the first time and eventually also brought on Kuldeep Yadav at the other end. Bairstow fetched few boundaries off the spinners to get to his half-century, and with time, Woakes also got comfortable in the middle, adding to India’s agony.

The lead then went past 100, prompting Kohli to bring back Ishant before the Tea break. But that didn’t work either. An inside-edged boundary brought Woakes’s fifty and he followed it up with a delightful punch through the covers to exert his dominance. With just two days and a session left in the Test match, England have done well to all but take an Indian win out of the equation.

Brief scores: England 230/5 (Jonny Bairstow 62*, Chris Woakes 55*; Mohammed Shami 3-67) lead India 107 by 123 runs

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