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Broad, Anderson leave India in a mess

Contributions from Rahane and Dhoni keep visitors afloat but England ends third day 246 ahead with two wickets left to pick up

Broad, Anderson leave India in a mess - Cricket News
Broad made the early breakthroughs, before Anderson returned to snap up Virat Kohli.
A superb exhibition of swing bowling from James Anderson, hostile back-up from Stuart Broad and some awful shot selection from set batsmen allowed England to take a firm grip on the third Test of the series at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Seven Indians went past 23, but Ajinkya Rahane’s 54 was the highest score as they limped to stumps at 323 for 8, still 46 short of making England bat again.
 
Broad made the early breakthroughs, before Anderson returned to snap up Virat Kohli. But the real kicks in the teeth for India were the shots that Rohit Sharma and Rahane played against Moeen Ali. India have treated his offspin with something approaching contempt, but he now has as many wickets in the series (nine) as Broad.
 
Rohit and Rahane had added 74 in 110 balls and with tea imminent, Anderson and Broad were taking a breather. That was when Rohit decided to charge Ali and miscue a chip to mid-off. He slumped over his bat in disappointment before walking off after a 61-ball 28.
 
After the interval, it was Rahane’s turn. Ali could have had his wicket when he had made just 8, but Rod Tucker missed a hint of glove down the leg side. Having eased to a half-century in 92 balls though, Rahane eyed a rank long hop from Ali, and toe-ended it horribly to short midwicket where the substitute fielder made no mistake. And though Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni saw India past the new ball with a 58-run association, new batsmen at the crease gave Alastair Cook a chance to get through some quiet overs while his main duo took a rest.
 
Chris Woakes bowled tidily enough without much luck, but Chris Jordan was all over the place, jerky and awkward in his run-up and scattergun with line and length. Broad flagged visibly as a hot day wore on, and a more disciplined batting effort could well have taken advantage.
 
Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara had been watchful in the morning, seeing the last of the shine off the ball and picking out gaps in the field when the opportunities presented themselves. But on a surface where the experts advocated keeping the ball full, it was the short ball that Broad used to deadly effect.
 
One followed a swaying Pujara towards the leg side, and kissed the gloves on its way to Jos Buttler behind the stumps. Vijay, who had once again showed excellent judgment of what to play and what to leave, was outfoxed in classical fashion. Having left balls going away from him, Vijay was caught in no-man’s land as one held its line toward the stumps. The play-leave took the inside edge and crashed into the stumps. Vijay made 35.  
 
Kohli began with a peachy cover drive, and India ended the session with 83 runs from 26 overs. Jordan could have had him after the break, but Cook could only deflect a fierce slash up and over for four. It wouldn’t be a costly miss though. Anderson came a little wide and a hint of away movement was enough to catch the edge of Kohli’s bat. As at Trent Bridge, it was a delivery he could have left alone. He went for 39, another start squandered.
 
Rahane played some sublime strokes through the covers and Rohit seemed to settle too as India fought back, but the two brain fades gave England all the momentum. Jadeja fought bravely again, dancing down the pitch to thump a couple of deliveries down to the sightscreen, though he was lucky to escape on 14 when Root at backward point put down a tough chance to his left off Broad.

Anderson, who finished with figures of 3 for 52, bowled magnificently with the new ball, and Jadeja eventually had no answer to one that swung back in and struck him right in front. Dhoni reached his half-century in the penultimate over of the day, and continued to pick off errant deliveries at the one end, piling into Ali when he could, but the wicket of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the final minutes was a further blow to hopes of avoiding the follow on.
 
Bhuvneshwar had struck three beautiful boundaries when Broad dropped short, but the full delivery was much harder to deal with. He got the inside edge on to the thigh pad, and Gary Ballance sprinted forward from third slip to complete a tumbling catch. Shami somehow survived till stumps, but India will need to bat out of their skins the second time to save this game.

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