Pope answers England's prayers

04 September 2021 02:01:35 GMTPlus11
Pope shines again at The Oval

England batsman Ollie Pope continued his love affair with The Oval as he batted Joe Root's men into a strong position at tea on day two of the fourth Test against India.

The Surrey batsman was 74 not out at tea in an England total of 227-7 giving them a priceless 36-run lead over the Indians. England, who levelled the five-match series at Headingley last weekend, are 1501.00 to go 2-1 up with just one match remaining. India are a 1.001 chance.

Pope, playing on his home ground, featured in two crucial stands in a low-scoring contest to help take the game away from Virat Kohli's men.

Pope was 38 not out at lunch alongside Jonny Bairstow (34 not out) and they took their partnership to 91 and England to 151 before the Yorkshireman was trapped leg before by Mohammed Siraj.

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Bairstow's review was in vain - ball tracking revealed the ball hitting the top of leg stump - and that brought Moeen Ali to the crease. He and Pope continued to keep the scoreboard ticking along during a breezy seventh-wicket stand of 71 before Moeen threw his wicket away with an awful shot.

Pope continues Oval form

The all-rounder, looking to slog-sweep spinner Ravindra Jadeja, simply mishit a slog into the air with Rohit Sharma running in from the covers to take the catch.

Pope hit six boundaries in his unbeaten 74 and looked completely untroubled on a ground where he never seems to fail - the 23-year-old now averages over 100 at The Oval in first-class cricket.

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