• Monday, October 20, 2014

England take control

Afp, London

Joe Root continued his personal run-fest against India as England maintained their grip on the fifth Test at The Oval on Saturday.

England, 2-1 up in the five-match series, were 385 for seven at stumps on the second day -- a first-innings lead of 237 runs after India had been skittled out for just 148 on Friday.

Root was 92 not out and Chris Jordan unbeaten on 19, with the pair having added an unbroken 67 in just 62 balls for the eighth wicket.

Saturday saw Root join two all-time great batsmen in becoming only the third England player to score a half century in every Test of a five-match series after Wally Hammond against South Africa in 1938/39 and Peter May, also against South Africa, in 1955.

 

John Edrich scored fifties in all six-matches of England's Ashes-winning series against Australia in 1970/71.

India took four wickets in quick succession before tea with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claiming two for three runs in eight balls, as England captain Alastair Cook (79), Gary Ballance (64), Ian Bell (seven) and Moeen Ali (14) were dismissed.

But at the interval England were still 246 for five, 98 runs ahead, with Root 11 not out and Jos Buttler unbeaten on 12 on a day where overhead conditions largely favoured the batsmen and much of the early moisture in the pitch had evaporated.

The pair had put on 80 before wicketkeeper Buttler, bidding to score fifties in his first three Test innings, fell for 45 when he chipped fast bowler Ishant Sharma straight to Ashwin at short mid-wicket.

Root then hooked a short ball from swing specialist Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six before completing a 93-ball fifty.

That followed the 23-year-old Yorkshireman's scores of 154 in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge, 66 in India's 95-run second Test win at Lord's, 56 in the hosts' 266-run victory at Southampton and 77 in their even more emphatic innings and 54-run success at Old Trafford.

 

Published: 12:03 am Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last modified: 2:04 am Sunday, August 17, 2014

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