Hardik Pandya's Fifer Puts India Well Ahead On Day Two Of Third Test Against England

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The second day of the third Test between England and India at Trent Bridge was arguably the best day of cricket for Virat Kohli as a captain

Written By Narayan R | Mumbai | Updated On:

The second day of the third Test between England and India at Trent Bridge was arguably the best day of cricket for Virat Kohli as a captain. Spearheaded by Hardik Pandya, the Men In Blue left the field on Sunday with a gigantic lead of 292, which puts them in a great position to win the Test.

Pandya was the star of the show, picking a fifer as England were bowled out for a mere 161 in reply to India's first innings total of 329. It gave the Indian batsmen a 168-run to play with. And they did not disappoint in the second innings, racing away to 124 for 2 in 31 overs.

Earlier in the day, India started the day's proceedings at 307 for 6, with Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin at the crease. But the English bowlers made lightweight of the visitors' lower-order, removing the final four wickets for a mere 22 runs.

In reply of 329, England got off to a decent start, with openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings looking positive at the crease. But two wickets in two deliveries changed the plot! 

Cook was looking good on 29, before Ishant Sharma produced a peach to dismiss him on the final ball of the 12th over. And the first ball of the 13th over saw Jasprit Bumrah dismissing Jennings, who was caught behind by Pant. It was soon followed by the wicket of Ollie Pope, who nicked Ishant's ball to Pant. 

After the three wickets, it was Pandya's time to wreak havoc. He was introduced to bowl in the 25th over, and in his very first ball, got England skipper Joe Root nicking to second slip, where KL Rahul completed a controversial catch. The dismissal was referred to the third umpire, who ruled that the Indian player had fingers underneath the ball, and the catch was clean, much to the dismay of Root.

Next to go was Ben Stokes in the 30th over, who like Root, nicked a ball to the second slip to Rahul, though, this time there was no doubt about the catch. And things got from bad to worse for the hosts', with Pandya dismissing Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes within an over.

READ: Rishabh Pant Creates Record On Test Debut Against England

He followed it up with another two-wicket over when he got rid of Adil Rashid and Stuart Broad to complete his first fifer in Test cricket. England were staring at a follow-on situation, but Jos Buttler played some wonderful shots en route to his 39, heloing his team reach 161.

With a lead of 161 in hand, Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul relished the situation, and played limited-overs type cricket. The two got off to a blistering start, sharing a 60-run partnership in just 11 overs before Rahul perished for a 33-ball 36.

Dhawan, along with Cheteshwar Pujara controlled the proceedings for some time, before the left-hander was deceived by a googly of Rashid and stumped by Bairstow for 44. That was though, the final moment of cheer in otherwise a horrific day for England. Indian skipper Kohli and Pujara safely played out the rest of the day, and helped the Men In Blue reach 124 for 2, with an overall lead of 292. 

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