India recover from Bairstow century to build commanding third-day lead over England

By Sports Desk July 03, 2022

India recovered from Jonny Bairstow clinching yet another century to finish an eventful third day of the fourth Test against England with a healthy 257-run lead.

Bairstow led a fine England counter in a thrilling morning session, bringing up his third century in as many Tests as the hosts looked to make up for a poor start to their first innings.

But after Bairstow's team-mates toiled in being bowled out for 284, India recovered from the early loss of Shubman Gill to reach 125-3 by close of play, leaving the hosts with it all to do on day four. 

The hosts enjoyed some good fortune upon resuming, with skipper Ben Stokes (25-36) being dropped in inexplicable fashion by Jasprit Bumrah before gifting the visiting captain a catch with an identical shot off the very next ball.

As has often been the case since Brendon McCullum took charge, England were left to rely on the brilliant Bairstow, who dragged them into contention by bringing up his century – the 11th of his Test career - off 119 balls shortly after lunch.

But their momentum dissipated when Mohammed Shami had him caught for 106 off 140 to reduce England to 241-7, before Mohammed Siraj dismissed Stuart Broad (1-5) in the very next over and finished the innings 4-66 after accounting for Sam Billings (36-57) and Matthew Potts (19-18).

Needing a fast start to have any hope of teeing up another successful chase, England were boosted when James Anderson had Gill (4-3) caught at slip, his fourth Test dismissal of the India opener.

Broad and Stokes then claimed a wicket apiece as Hanuma Vihari (11-44) and the out-of-form Virat Kohli (20-44) were felled, before Cheteshwar Pujara bought up a slow half-century off 139 balls. 

He and Rishabh Pant (30 not out) were then content to see the day out in quiet fashion, with England now requiring wickets to fall quickly on Monday.

Brilliant Bairstow drags England into contention

The pressure was on when England resumed on Sunday, and Bairstow – so often the key man in the early days of McCullum's red-ball revolution, stepped up after a bout of sledging from Kohli.

In recording his first century against India in Test cricket, Bairstow went from 13 off 61 balls to 100 off 119, going up through the gears in rapid fashion when England needed him most.

Siraj halts hosts' progress

With England having recovered from 84-5 to 241-7 by Bairstow's dismissal, India could have been forgiven for thinking back to the way McCullum's men conducted three successful chases of over 250 against New Zealand in their recent series whitewash.

But Siraj stepped up to claim a four-wicket haul as India held off their hosts, leaving England requiring something special to level the series at 2-2.

Related items

  • Wiggins and Curry star as Warriors shoot down Rockets, Gobert ejected for tripping Wiggins and Curry star as Warriors shoot down Rockets, Gobert ejected for tripping

    Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry piled on the points as the Golden State Warriors improved to a 12-11 record with a 120-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

    Wiggins scored a season-high 36 points on 14-of-19 field shooting with a joint career-high eight three-pointers, including three in a row in the third quarter at the Chase Center.

    Curry added 30 points, including eight triples, as well as providing 10 assists for Golden State, who have won five of their past six games.

    Jordan Poole, who came into the starting line-up for Klay Thompson who was rested, also had 21 points with five three-pointers. Center Kevon Looney had 12 rebounds with nine points.

    The Warriors shot 25-of-52 from three-point range as a team, compared to the Rockets who went at 10.7 per cent from beyond the arc, making three-of-28 attempts.

    Golden State became the second team in NBA history to make 20 three-pointers in four of five games.

    Gobert ejected in Timberwolves defeat

    Rudy Gobert was ejected for deliberately tripping Kenrich Williams as the Minnesota Timberwolves were beaten 135-128 by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    The French center was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected in the second quarter when he tangled with Williams, appearing to sweep a leg out while on the ground, seeing his unbalanced opponent tumble.

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander top scored for OKC with 33 points and six assists, while for the Timberwolves, who were already without Karl-Anthony Towns (calf), D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards scored 27 and 26 points respectively.

    Short-handed Bucks down Hornets

    The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo due to left knee soreness as they moved to 16-6 with a 105-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

    The Bucks, who are second in the Eastern Conference, were also without Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday but Bobby Portis (20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) stepped up.

    Jordan Nwora added 17 points, while Brook Lopez (14 points including three three-pointers and six rebounds) and Jevon Carter (14 points and six assists) were strong contributors.

  • Messi 'even bigger' after Australia brought out 'inner fire' – Mac Allister Messi 'even bigger' after Australia brought out 'inner fire' – Mac Allister

    Lionel Messi was motivated to become "even bigger than he is" against Australia due to a confrontation with Aziz Behich moments before his goal, according to Alexis Mac Allister.

    Argentina captain Messi inspired his side to a 2-1 win in the last 16 of the World Cup on Saturday, booking a quarter-final against the Netherlands.

    The legendary forward had endured a quiet start to the match, with Argentina struggling as a result, but he burst into life 10 minutes before half-time.

    Messi pressed Behich in the corner of the pitch and won an Albiceleste throw-in, with the pair then tangling in a brief tussle.

    Within seconds, Messi had fired a precious opener, his first World Cup knockout goal in his ninth such match.

    "Leo, when these things happen, he brings out that inner fire that he has, that personality that makes him even bigger than he is," team-mate Mac Allister said. "In these kind of games, he becomes bigger.

    "For us, he is the most important player. He knows it, he helps us a lot, and for us, it is a pride to be able to accompany him.

    "We know that he always tries to give his best, but when something happens [like the confrontation] he has enough personality to get out of it, to make it work for him and start playing even better."

    Messi was involved in everything Argentina did going forward, attempting six shots and creating four chances – two high marks across the match.

    That made Mac Allister's job simple: give Messi the ball.

    "I really enjoy playing with Messi," the Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder said. "For me, he's the best player in history, in the world, and I'm proud to be next to him.

    "I try to give him the ball to him, because if the ball goes through him, everything is easier. I think he's having a great World Cup and we need him a lot."

  • Russell, Pooran star for Deccan Gladiators to set up final against Pollard's New York Strikers Russell, Pooran star for Deccan Gladiators to set up final against Pollard's New York Strikers

    West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell smashed a 32-ball 63 to help the Deccan Gladiators beat the Morrisville Samp Army by eight wickets in Qualifier 2 and advance to the final of the Abu Dhabi T10 League in the UAE on Saturday.

    The Samp Army posted 119-2 from their 10 overs after losing the toss. Captain Moeen Ali hit six fours and six sixes on his way to a top score of 78 not out off just 29 balls while South African David Miller ended not out on 16.

    Russell, who opened the batting alongside Tom Kohler-Cadmore, then set the stage for a successful chase with seven fours and four sixes on his way to 63. Captain Nicholas Pooran then added the finishing touches with an unbeaten 38 off just 12 balls as the Gladiators reached 121-2 in 9.4 overs.

    Earlier on Saturday, they defeated Team Abu Dhabi by five runs in the eliminator.

    Their opponents in Sunday’s final will be Kieron Pollard’s New York Strikers who beat the Samp Army by four wickets in Qualifier 1.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.