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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Defiant Kohli keeps India afloat on Day 3

PHOTOS: Defiant Kohli keeps India afloat on Day 3

Last updated on: August 04, 2018 00:09 IST

Images from Day 3 of the 1st Test between England and India at Edgbaston on Friday.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Captain Virat Kohli bats during Day 3. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Captain Virat Kohli once again led from the front to keep India afloat after a few early wickets, on Day 3 of the first Test against England in Birmingham, on Friday.

Kohli, who hit a century in the first innings, battled hard in difficult circumstances, scoring 43 not out to guide India to 110 for five in 36 overs. The visitors need another 84 runs for victory with two day's play still left in the match.

Dinesh Karthik provided him good support with 18 not out as the duo put on an unbroken stand of 32 for the sixth wicket to steady the innings.

IMAGE: James Anderson celebrates the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

India's top order once again disappointed as wickets kept falling regularly after they were set 194 for victory in a thrilling Test match.

Pacer Stuart Board sent back both the openers -- Murali Vijay (6) and Shikhar Dhawan (13) early on with the new ball.

 

KL Rahul was caught behind off Stokes after scoring just 13, while Ajinkya Rahane suffered another failure as he was caught behind off Sam Curran for two.

Ravichandran Ashwin's promotion to No. 6 failed as he became the third India batsman in the second innings to fall for 13 to leave the visitors reeling at 78 for five at one stage before Kohli and Karthik staged a mini recovery.

England's Sam Curran hits a six to get to his half-century

IMAGE: England's Sam Curran hits a six to get to his half-century. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Earlier, a counter-attacking half-century by Sam Curran propelled England to 180 in their second innings on the third day, setting India a target of 194 to win the first Test match.

 

Playing with confidence in only his second Test appearance, the 20-year-old Curran took the attack to the Indian bowlers who had earlier ripped out the heart of the English batting line by reducing the hosts to 87 for seven shortly after lunch.

Curran struck two valuable partnerships, first with Adil Rashid for 48 runs, which was the biggest of the English innings, and then 41 with fast bowler Stuart Broad for the ninth wicket.

After a cautious start, Curran grew in confidence and clobbered Ravichandran Ashwin, who was the pick of the Indian bowling attack in the first innings, for a six and a four off consecutive balls in the session before tea.

Ishant Sharma celebrates on picking the wicket of Stuart Broad, his fifth of the innings

IMAGE: Ishant Sharma celebrates on picking the wicket of Stuart Broad, his fifth of the innings. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Curran ended up as the top scorer for the hosts with 63 runs off 65 deliveries peppered with nine boundaries and two sixes.

For the visitors, pacers Ishant spearheaded the attack grabbing five wickets for 51 runs followed by Ashwin who grabbed three wickets in the morning session.

England got off to a rocky start on Friday, losing six wickets in the morning session, as the visitors ripped through the hosts' batting order including the prized scalp of skipper Joe Root.

England batsman Joe Root reacts as India bowler Ravi Ashwin celebrates his wicket during day 3 of the First Specsavers Test Match at Edgbaston on Friday

IMAGE: England batsman Joe Root reacts as Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates his wicket. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

England reached 131 runs for the loss of seven wickets in their second innings on the third day of the first Test match against India, stretching their overall lead to 144 runs on Friday, as bad light stopped play.

Ashwin ran through the top order before Ishant Sharma wrecked the middle order as India reduced England to 86 for six at lunch on day three to position themselves nicely for a win in the first cricket Test, in Birmingham on Friday.

Off-spinner Ashwin took 3-34 and gangly pacer Sharma returned with figures of 3-21 in a fiery spell to leave England with just a 99-run lead.

Starting from overnight 9 for 1, England did not get much respite as Ashwin bowled non-stop from one end after dismissing Alastair Cook (0) previously on Thursday evening.

The left-handed batsman in the English line-up looked easy fodder for him as the wicket started taking a lot more turn this morning. In the eighth over, Keaton Jennings (8) was the first to go with KL Rahul taking a sharp catch at leg slip.

Adil Rashid 

IMAGE: Adil Rashid is bowled by India fast bowler Umesh Yadav. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Joe Root (14) held the key to England's second innings, and eventual course of the game, but Ashwin etched out the big wicket eight overs later. He broke the budding 21-run partnership between him and Dawid Malan (20) as Rahul held another excellent, low catch at leg slip.

It could have gotten worse, as Jonny Bairstow's (28) first shot also landed close to Rahul's hand.

Three overs later, Malan (on 17) got a life when Shikhar Dhawan failed to latch on to a low catch at first slip off Sharma. But the left-hander never looked comfortable at the crease with Sharma constantly troubling him.

Malan and Root added 31 runs for the fourth wicket, and pushed England past 50 in the 17th over. The former looked to play more conservatively, while Bairstow opened up a bit to score at any opportunity he got.

India's Ishant Sharma celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England's Ben Stokes 

IMAGE: Ishant Sharma celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England's Ben Stokes. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

Just when it looked that they were getting comfortable at the crease, Sharma struck a quick triple blow.

Rahane caught first Malan at fourth slip in the 27th over. Then in the last over before lunch, Sharma struck twice to dismiss Bairstow, caught at first slip, and Ben Stokes (6), caught at third slip, in the space of three balls.

England were completely rocked with only the tail left to play with Buttler, as they had no reply to Indian bowlers' intensity.

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