Southampton: Cheteshwar Pujara (132 n o, 257b, 16×4) scored a magnificent and brought up his 15th Test century to help India take a 27-run lead in the first innings in reply to England’s 246 on the second day of the fourth Test here, Friday. In reply, England were six for no loss at stumps, 21 runs behind, with Alastair Cook (2 batting) and Keaton Jennings (4 batting) at the crease.
At some point of time, England’s total was looking too far when India were reduced to 195 for eight after Ravichandran Ashwin (one) and Mohammed Shami got out in successive deliveries off Moeen Ali (5/63).
However, thanks to Ishant Sharma (14) and Jasprit Bumrah (six), who offered some stiff resistance and supported Pujara, to take the score to 273 before Bumrah’s wicket wrapped up the Indian innings.
Pujara first added 32 runs for the ninth wicket with Ishant before making a 46-run last wicket partnership with Bumrah.
Earlier, resuming the day at 19 for no loss, India lost both the openers KL Rahul (19) and Shikhar Dhawan (23) in the first hour of the day with the score reading 50/2. However, Pujara, along with his skipper Virat Kohli (46, 71b, 6×4), added 92 runs for the third wicket. Kohli also crossed 6000 runs in Test cricket, the second-quickest among the Indians after Sunil Gavaskar to reach the mark.
However, Sam Curran (1/41) gave his team a sigh of relief by dismissing Kohli, who was on course for yet another big knock. The next batsmen, Ajinkya Rahane (11), Rishabh Pant, who scored a 29-ball duck, and Hardik Pandya (four) couldn’t do much as they got out in quick succession to put India in spot of bother. However, Pujara held his nerves to resurrect Indian innings.