Headingley: England captain Joe Root completed his 23rd Test ton as the hosts gained full command against India on Day 2 of the ongoing third Test here at Headingley, Leeds on Thursday.
At stumps, England's score read 423/8-- a lead of 345 runs with two wickets in hand. For the Three Lions, Craig Overton (24*) and Ollie Robinson (0*) are at the crease. Resuming the final session at 298/3, Jonny Bairstow started scoring runs at a brisk pace and Root carried on with his momentum. In the 104th over of the innings, the England captain brought up his 23rd century in the longest format and the hosts were looking in absolute control. Bairstow's (29) cameo came to an end in the 108th over as Mohammed Shami sent him back to the pavilion, reducing England to 350/4.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler (7) failed to leave a mark with the bat as he was dismissed by Shami and this brought Moeen Ali to the middle. Jasprit Bumrah finally got the better of Root in the 118th over but it was not before the English captain had scored 121 runs.
Moeen Ali (8) did not last for long as he handed a simple catch to substitute fielder Axar Patel at mid-on off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja and England was reduced to 383/7. Sam Curran also departed after playing a knock of 15, but, in the end, Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson ensured that hosts do not lose any more wickets before the close of play.
Earlier, Root and Dawid Malan were in firm control as England piled on further pressure on India in the second session. Resuming at 182/2, Root and Malan carried on from where they left off and both batsmen scored runs at a brisk pace. Root made the most of his form and he brought up his half-century off just 57 balls in the 82nd over of the innings.
Malan followed his skipper as he also brought up his half-century in the 86th over of the innings and England maintained its firm grip in the match. Malan and Root did not relent and they continued to pile on the pressure, ensuring England's lead goes past 200 and the hosts sit at the box seat from where they are able to control the game. However, on the final ball of the second session, Malan (70) got strangled down the leg-side and he lost his wicket to Mohammed Siraj.
Earlier, India might have picked the wickets of England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed on the second morning but the hosts remained miles ahead in the game thanks to a splendid bowling effort from James Anderson and boys on the first day. Resuming at 120/0, Burns and Hameed added 15 more runs to the total before Mohammed Shami sent Burns (61) back to the pavilion, bringing Dawid Malan to the crease.
While Malan did hit boundaries, Hameed found it tough in the middle and the Indians were able to dry the runs up considerably. Both batsmen put together 24 runs for the second wicket, but the stand came to an end on the final ball of the 63rd over as Ravindra Jadeja bowled Hameed (68), reducing England to 159/2. Skipper Root along with Malan ensured that England did not suffer more hiccups and the hosts entered the interval with eight wickets in hand.
On the opening day, India was bowled out for 78 as no batsman was able to stay at the crease for a long haul. For England, James Anderson and Craig Overton returned with three wickets each.
Brief Scores: India 78; England 423/8 (Joe Root 121, Dawid Malan 70, Mohammed Shami 3-87).