Test on a knife's edge | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:01 AM, September 02, 2018

Test on a knife's edge

Jos Buttler's well-judged 69 helped to leave India facing a record run-chase if they were to win the fourth Test against England at Southampton and so level the series.

England were 260 for eight in their second innings, a lead of 233 runs, at stumps on Saturday's third day.

The most India have made to win in the fourth innings of a Test in England is 174 at The Oval in 1971. That match also saw them achieve their first Test win on English soil.

Sam Curran, fresh from his Test-best 78 in the first innings, was 37 not out after adding 55 for the seventh wicket with Buttler.

Adil Rashid (11) was caught behind off a Mohammed Shami leg-cutter off what became the last ball of the day.

The paceman led India's attack with three wickets for 53 runs from 13.5 overs.

Last week saw Buttler display a well-judged mixture of aggression and defence during his maiden Test century, albeit one made with India well on the way to a 203-run victory that left them 2-1 down in this five-match series.

Those same qualities were on display in Southampton, where Buttler made 85 on his Test debut, also against India, four years ago.

They were needed after England slumped to 92 for four -- the 33rd time in 64 Test innings they had been four wickets down for 100 or fewer runs.

Shami took two wickets in two balls separated by the lunch break before running out England captain Joe Root for 48 with a direct hit. 

SCORES IN BRIEF

England: First Innings 246 all out

India: First Innings 273 all out

England: Second Innings 260 for 8 (Jennings 36, Root 48, Buttler 69, Curran 37 not out; Shami 2-53, Ishant 2-36)

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