Pope and Bairstow keep England in the hunt

03 September 2021 23:33:29 GMTPlus11
Bairstow and Pope with work to do after lunch

The fourth Test between England and India at The Oval remains finely balanced as the home side battled back from a poor start to day two.

England reached lunch at 139-5 after bowling out India for 191 on the first day and they are 1501.00 to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. India are 1.001 with the draw at 51.00.

The hosts resumed on 53-3, having lost the key wicket of in-form skipper Joe Root late on the first day. Root was bowled by Umesh Yadav and the same bowler swiftly dismissed nightwatchman Craig Overton for one and Dawid Malan for 31 to leave England in trouble at 62-5.

Recalled Surrey batsman Ollie Pope, who has a superb county record on his home ground, started the fightback with a flurry of boundaries off Shardul Thakur and he has received good support from wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

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Pope and Bairstow with work to do

Pope will resume on 38 after the lunch break while Bairstow is 34 not out and England trail India's first-inning score by 52 runs.

The hosts still have plenty of batting to come with Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes due in at numbers eight and nine and Ollie Robinson, who made 42 against New Zealand in his first Test innings in June, at 10.

After a rain-affected draw in the first Test at Trent Bridge, India won the second game of the series by 151 runs at Lord's before England made it 1-1 with a crushing innings victory at Headingley. The fifth and final Test starts at Old Trafford next Friday.