Stunning Bairstow catch sees India's Rahul fall in third Test

Leeds (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Jonny Bairstow strengthened England's grip on the third Test with a brilliant slip catch to dismiss India's KL Rahul off the last ball before lunch on Friday's third day at Headingley.

It seemed India, facing a huge first-innings deficit of 354 runs, would get through the morning session without losing a wicket.

But instead they were 34-1 in their second innings, still 320 runs behind, with Rohit Sharma 25 not out.

Craig Overton, with what became the last ball before the interval, produced a rising delivery that straightened late, took the shoulder of Rahul's bat and diving second slip Bairstow, who has spent much of his Test career as wicketkeeper, held a magnificent left-handed catch in front of England captain Joe Root at first slip.

The stunning grab -- the ball was almost behind Bairstow -- meant Rahul was out for a painstaking eight off 54 balls after adding just two more runs following a successful review when given out lbw to Ollie Robinson.

England resumed on 423-8 after Root had made 121, his sixth Test century already this year.

Meanwhile, the remainder of England's top four -- Dawid Malan (70), Haseeb Hameed (68) and Rory Burns (61) -- all posted fifties as the hosts looked to level this five-match series at 1-1 after India's 151-run win in the second Test at Lord's.

But the tail added just nine runs on Friday.

Overton, 24 not out overnight, hit two fours off successive Mohammed Shami deliveries -- a square-cut followed by a clip through midwicket.

But Overton, recalled in place of injured fast bowler Mark Wood, was out for 32 when lbw to a Shami delivery that nipped in off the pitch.

India brought back Jasprit Bumrah, in what appeared to be an attempt to recreate his bouncer barrage to James Anderson at Lord's, an incident that led to heated words being exchanged between the teams.

Anderson, however, faced just one ball -- from Shami -- before Bumrah bowled Robinson for a duck as the tailender backed away.

Shami was the pick of India's attack, with 4-95 in 28 overs, but a laboured Ishant Sharma bowled 22 wicketless overs for 92 runs and was one of the worst culprits in a sloppy fielding display.

England were already in a commanding position after dismissing India for just 78 in their first innings being without injured quicks Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Wood and Olly Stone, with star all-rounder Ben Stokes absent due to mental health issues.

Anderson, the most successful fast bowler in Test history, had ripped through India's top order during a first-innings return of 3-6 in eight overs.

He gained appreciable movement again Friday in a five-over spell costing just eight runs but without adding to his tally of 629 Test wickets.

Rohit had generally been watchful until he uppercut a rare short ball from Robinson over the slip cordon for six.