BIRMINGHAM: A 150-run stand between Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root helped turn things in favour of England at the end of the final session of Day Four of the ongoing fifth and final Test against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Monday. At the end of the day's play, England's score read 259/3, with Root (76*) and Bairstow (72*) standing tall.
Indians were left clueless by the determination and strokeplay of both in-form batters. England resumed things off after Tea at 107/1, with opener Alex Lees (56*) and Ollie Pope (0*) standing unbeaten at the crease.
India got an early wicket in the first over after Tea as Jasprit Bumrah sent back Pope to pavillion for a three-ball duck after wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant successfully caught the ball which hit the edge of his bat.
In the next over, Lees was run out by the pair of Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. England lost their third wicket at a score of 109 runs. After this, the in-form duo of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow resumed the chase for their side.
The duo formed a fifty-run partnership. Root-Bairstow continued to inflict punishment on Indian bowlers, suddenly shifting things more in England's favour. A hundred-run stand was up between Bairstow and Root in 141 balls. Indian bowlers could find no answer to the batting of these two as they kept piling up runs. Both brought up their half-centuries and also completed their 150-run stand in 196 balls.
Root-Bairstow made sure that their team walked out of the final session without any further damage, needing 119 runs to win and level the series.
Earlier before Tea, England openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley struck a century partnership after captain Ben Stokes led from the front taking four wickets to bowl out India for 245 in the second innings as the visitors set a 378-run target for hosts.
Resuming the post-lunch session at 229/7 India lost Mohammed Shami in the fourth ball of the Tea session as English captain Ben Stokes dismissed him for 13.
From there on there was no looking back for the skipper as he also went on to dismiss first-innings centurion Ravindra Jadeja who chopped the ball onto his stumps for 23 as the hosts lost their ninth wicket for 236.
In his next over Stokes dismissed Indian captain Jasprit Bumrah for seven to bowl out India for 245. The hosts set visitors a 378-run target.
Chasing a big total England needed a solid start and their openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley did exactly that scoring runs at a brisk pace.
The duo struck a 50-run partnership with southpaw Lees being the aggressor of the two. Southpaw Lees went on to score his half-century in just 44 balls.
The opening pair of Lees-Crawley carried on and they reduced the target to less than 300. Indian captain Jasprit Bumrah tried all the bowlers Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja but failed to break the opening partnership. The duo took the team to the triple-figure mark to put pressure back on India.
Just when it seemed that the game was going away from India their skipper Bumrah struck cleaning up Zak Crawley for 46. Hosts lost their first wicket for 107 and this score remained till Tea session as they needed 271 more runs to win with nine wickets in hand.
India resumed the Day at 125/3, with Cheteshwar Pujara (50*) and Rishabh Pant (30*) at the crease. The duo went on to add 28 more runs to their fifty-run stand before Pujara was dismissed by Stuart Broad for 66 after he was caught by Alex Lees at the backward point.
This brought Shreyas Iyer to the crease. Pant continued his good batting form, getting to his half-century after making a superb 146 in the first innings.
Iyer also hit Broad and Matty Potts for fours, before he was dismissed by Potts for 19 after being caught by James Anderson at mid-wicket while attempting to pull. Ravindra Jadeja was next at the crease. Pant's knock ended at 57, being dismissed by spinner Jack Leach after being caught by Joe Root at slips.
Shardul Thakur was next up on the crease to join Jadeja, but fell cheaply for just 4, with India losing their seventh wicket on the score of 198.
The duo of Mohammed Shami and Jadeja took India through the remainder of the session without any damage. Going into lunch, Ravindra Jadeja (17*) and Mohammed Shami (13*) stood unbeaten at the crease for India. India maintains a healthy 361-run lead in the match.
Brief Scores: England: 284 and 259/3 (Joe Root 76*, Jonny Bairstow 72*, Jasprit Bumrah 2/53) need 119 runs more against India: 416 and 245 (Cheteshwar Pujara 66, Rishabh Pant 57, Ben Stokes 4/33).