Shami stars as India's tail frustrates England
London (AFP) –
Mohammed Shami's brilliant unbeaten fifty helped India build a commanding lead to frustrate England hopes of a last-day victory in the second Test at Lord's on Monday.
India were 286-8 in their second innings at lunch on the fifth day, a lead of 259 runs.
Both Shami, 52 not out, and fellow paceman Jasprit Bumrah, 30 not out, made their highest Test scores.
The tailenders had so far added an unbroken 77 for the ninth wicket.
India captain Virat Kohli could now contemplate a declaration, with this five-match series level at 0-0 following the rain-marred drawn first Test at Trent Bridge.
There have only been three successful run-chases of over 200 in a Test at Lord's -- West Indies' 344-1 in 1984, England's 282-3 against New Zealand in 2004 and England's 218-3, also against New Zealand, in 1965.
England would have hoped for a quick end to the innings when Rishabh Pant was out for 22 to leave India 194-7 -- a lead of 167.
But the tail, showing plenty of skill as well as determination, kept them in the field.
India resumed on 181-6 in their second innings, 154 ahead, after Mark Wood and Moeen Ali had taken three late wickets between them before bad light cut short Sunday's play
Pant, capable of scoring quickly, was 14 not out but he only had the tail for company with Ishant Sharma unbeaten on four.
England took the new ball in the second over of the day but left-hander Pant responded by charging down the pitch to drive James Anderson for four.
But Ollie Robinson had Pant edging to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Shami, however, got off the mark with a square-driven boundary off Robinson.
Fast bowler Wood was off the field at the start of play after suffering a shoulder injury when hurtling into an advertising board diving headlong to save a boundary on Sunday.
But he was back into the attack some 30 minutes' into Monday's action
Nevertheless, it was Robinson who reduced India to 209-8 when he had Ishant lbw with a well-disguised slower ball.
Bumrah, having appeared to exchange some angry words with Buttler, cut Wood for four when he appeared to be attempting a legside pull.
But with every run valuable, Kohli led the applause from the dressing room balcony.
With Shami and Bumrah steadily adding runs against the quicks, England captain Joe Root brought off-spinner Mooen back into the attack for Monday's 15th over.
Bumrah, however, was dropped on 22 by first slip Root off Moeen.
Shami then went to just his second fifty in 53 Test in stylish fashion, driving Mooen for a four and a six off successive deliveries to reach the landmark in just 57 balls.
This innings surpassed his 51 not out against England at Trent Bridge back in 2014.
Meanwhile Bumrah, who had some heated words with Root, also topped his highest Test score for the second time in two matches after his 28 at Nottingham's Trent Bridge in the opening match of this series.
© 2021 AFP