Murali Vijay's sixth Test fifty and second of the series helped India finish with a lead of 145 with six wickets left at the end of the third day at Lord's. (Matchcentre).
23:01 IST: Stumps - India are 169/4 and lead England by 145. It was England's session through and through after Liam Plunkett snared two wickets in two balls to remove Pujara and Kohli. Then Broad struck and got a lucky scalp, sending back Rahane, the first-innings centurion as the tourists slipped into further trouble. Murali Vijay, though, played a solid knock and remained unbeaten on 59, and with Dhoni (12 not out), added 46 for the fifth wicket. When play resumes on Sunday, the two overnight batsmen will be expected to steer the Indian ship further ahead and get a big lead.
22:29 IST: Murali Vijay hits Anderson for two straight fours and brings up his second fifty of the series, sixth in his career as India reach 156/4 and lead by 132. This has been a gutsy knock in the face of some torrid pace by England.
22:20 IST: India are 145/4 and lead by 121 runs; nice partnership developing between Vijay and Dhoni. How long can they sustain this? They would ideally like to take this lead past 200 and then hope for Jadeja, Binny and Bhuneshwar to score some useful runs lower down the order.
22:03 IST: Kohli's form has been a huge concern for India in this series. With scores of 1, 8, 25 and 0, the Delhi star has managed a total of 34 runs from four innings at an average of 8.50. He was expected to lead India's batting but far from it, the 25-year-old has been a huge letdown.
21:59 IST: FOUR! Power-packed shot from Dhoni against Broad as the ball races away to the fence. That was bludgeoned and the Indian lead is now 107. However, the three wickets they have lost so quickly make things very difficult for the tourists.
21:51 IST: WICKET! Short ball from Stuart Broad and it hits Rahane on the arm, as TV replays showed. Poor decision by umpire Bruce Oxenford to give that out as Prior took a good catch (off Rahane's arm), covering good distance. India are 123/4 and lead by 99.
21:30 IST: WICKET! Plunkett is changing the course of the match here; he has removed Kohli for a golden duck and is on a hat-trick. The Indian lead is only 94. What a turnaround this is for the hosts. Rahane walks in and survives the hat-trick ball as Plunkett sends one wide away from the off-stump.
21:28 IST: WICKET! Perfect line and length from Liam Plunkett and he has got Pujara to edge it to Prior behind the wickets. This is a big blow to India, who are now 118/3, with a lead of 94 runs.
21:09 IST: FOUR! Superb cover-drive by Vijay sends another length-ball from Stokes to the fence and that also brings up the 100 for India. The opener has struggled a little today but he has shown great application to stick around with Pujara, who has looked far more assured. India 103/1 and lead by 79.
21:04 IST: Pujara has been more fluent than Vijay, who has been a little bogged down but neither of the batsmen has shown any signs of giving his wicket away. England skipper Alastair Cook must be getting a little worried and he would hope that one of his bowlers strikes soon. For sure, both the men currently at the crease can play long innings. India are 98/1 and lead by 74 runs.
20:58 IST: Vijay and Pujara brought up their half-century-run stand for the second wicket as India continued to build on their lead slowly but surely. Maybe they are banking on the more aggressive batsman down the order to up the ante later.
looks much easier to bat now. having said that India showing great application.- Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 19, 2014
20:48 IST: India have been watchful after tea with Vijay and Pujara at the crease. Question is: when do they start to open up? There is heavy firepower down the line-up and certainly somewhere something is going to give way. India 88/1 and lead by 64 runs.
20:14 IST: Tea - India are 84/1, lead by 60. (Read Tea Report) India lost an aggressive Shikhar Dhawan (31) in this session and that brought Vijay (21 not out) and Pujara (25 not out) together. The two were solid and assured but rather slow in their approach even as the lead pushed past 50. With wickets in hand, these two will be expected to press the advantage further. Then there are the likes of Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni and Jadeja, who can score quickly when India need that. England tried relentlessly but got no further success since Dhawan was dismissed.
20:04 IST: FOUR! It has been rather slow-going for India after Dhawan's exit but a poor ball from Moeen Ali was asking to be hit and Vijay obliged. India are 82/1 and lead by 58 runs, with tea approaching.
19:53 IST: FOUR! Exquisite cover drive from Pujara off Plunkett and the ball burns the Lord's turf on its way to the fence. India are 74/1 and the lead is now worth 50, with nine wickets remaining.
19:51 IST: FOUR! Poor line from Plunkett and Pujara works it off his hips to pick up a boundary as India reached 70/1 and lead by 46.
19:34 IST: Vijay and Pujara are settling in nicely together once again and with England attacking with a packed slip cordon, the two have decided to drop anchor and play straight. The runs are coming in singles and twos and they won't mind as long as the lead swells.
19:31 IST: Indian openers have not scored a 50 plus stand in away Tests in the last 26 innings. The last time they did share an opening partnership over 50 was incidentally at Lord's on India tour in 2011. India are now 60/1 and lead by 36.
Match Referee David Boon panned the Trent Bridge pitch used for the first Test between England and India. Here's what he had to say. And soon enough, the ECB issued a statement, promising to correct the dead surface, that had very little in it for bowlers from either side.
19:24 IST: Vijay and Pujara are in the process of building another partnership after Dhawan's innings was cut short by Root's brilliance. India have not had too many happy memories but with Rahane scoring a ton in the first innings and Kumar taking a six-for, things are looking up for the tourists. They will however need one of the main batsmen to score a big one here; Kohli's form could be crucial to the way this Test match heads from hereon.
18:59 IST: WICKET! Stunning catch by Joe Root at point sends Dhawan back and gives Stokes a wicket off a pretty ordinary ball. Catches win matches and this kind of fielding could just do it for England. India are 40/1 and 31 of those were scored by Dhawan. They lead by 16 as Pujara joins Vijay in the middle.
18:57 IST: While we are at Kohli, here's a piece of news about him. His girlfriend and Bollywood star Anushka Sharma is at Lord's, cheering for the star batsman. Kohli has yet to hit form in this series but maybe the stunner from Mumbai will help him score some runs at Lord's.
18:54 IST: Dhawan has been the aggressor while Vijay is settling in for another anchoring role. India will look at their openers to give them a good platform, with the likes of Pujara, Rahane and Kohli due in next. India are 36/0 and lead by 12.
18:34 IST: FOUR! Dhawan cracks Anderson to the fence and announces his intentions in no unclear terms; he's here to score quickly for the tourists. India are 33/0 and lead by nine runs.
18:27 IST: Vijay drove Anderson through mid-off to pick up three runs as India take the lead early after lunch on Day 3. Dhawan has looked eager to score and they would now hope the Delhi batsman to play a breezy knock and set the stage for a big total here. India are 25/0 and lead by 1.
18:24 IST: Dhawan got behind the line of the swing from Anderson and he pushed it down the ground to pick up three runs. India are 22/0 and trail by only two runs.
18:19 IST: FOUR! Dhawan picks up another boundary off Broad, again behind point as the tourists raced away to 18/0, trailing by six runs. Once India are in the lead, it will be interesting to see how they pace their innings today.
18:12 IST: Anderson bowled the first over after lunch and India got three runs off it, reaching 14/0. The trail has now been reduced to 10.
17:30 IST: Lunch - India are 11/0, trail by 13 runs. The first session on Day 3 benefited, again thanks to the level of intensity shown by both teams this series. England started the morning on the right earnest, with Prior and Plunkett picking up quick runs, wiping off the deficit easily. However, after Shami removed Prior and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two wickets to finish with six in the match, there was more drama waiting. Plunkett, who had batted superbly, was joined by probably the best number 11 in the world, James Anderson and the two fired away to a useful last-wicket stand. While Plunkett raised his maiden fifty, Anderson tried to be cheeky against Jadeja, failing put the reverse sweep out of the reach of Rahane at the slip cordon.
As the players set off for lunch, read how Bhuvneshwar has so far destroyed England in their own backyard.
17:18 IST: Murali Vijay plays out a maiden from James Anderson, who sends down the first over of India's second innings. The Indian openers' first target would be to wipe off the 24-run lead and then try and set England a challenging total to chase.
England 319 all out: This has been an interesting match so far; after Kumar struck repeatedly last afternoon, England bounced back strongly, thanks to a Gary Ballance hundred. They started well again this morning before Shami removed Prior and Kumar picked up two more to finish with 6/82, his best Test figures. Ravindra Jadeja ended the England innings when he removed Anderson for 19, restricting England's lead to 24.
17:05 IST: WICKET! James Anderson tried to reverse sweep but found Rahane at slip and the England number 11 falls to Ravindra Jadeja, of all people. England are all out for 319 and lead by 24 runs on the third day, less than 30 minutes before lunch.
17:01 IST: Maiden Test fifty for Plunkett and what a place to do it at. Lord's! He already has two first-class hundreds and he has not played like a tail-ender at all; some of Plunkett's shots would have made a number five batsman happy.
16:57 IST: Anderson seems to be carrying on from where he left off at Lord's and has come out and played a few breathtaking shots. He has been a treat to watch with the bat and certainly deserves a batting promotion.
16:51 IST: FOUR! Anderson lofts Kumar past a diving Binny at mid-off as England get ahead in the first innings. This has been exciting cricket so far, with India fighting back everytime after a hint of a stand for the hosts. England are 298/8 and lead by three.
16:37 IST: England now trail by only 10 with one wicket left. Can India take the lead here? The last time India had taken the first innings lead after batting first at Lord's was in 1936. Lala Amar Singh, had back then, taken a six-for, like Kumar has 78 years later.
Best bowling at Lord's by Indians 6/35 Amar Singh 1936 6/82 B Kumar today 6/226 B Bedi 1974 5/59 RP Singh 2007 5/64 C Sharma 1986 #EngvInd- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 19, 2014
16:32 IST: WICKET! Six wickets for Kumar as he dismisses Broad. This is dramatic cricket with India fighting back after a strong stat to the day by Prior and Plunkett. England are 280/9 and trail by 15 runs.
16:27 IST: WICKET! Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets his second successive fifer as he removes Ben Stokes for a duck. England are 276/8 and trail India by 19 runs. India suddenly have the chance to take a lead, however narrow.
Hats off to Bhuvneshwar Kumar for getting on the honours board at Lords. High class bowling & the best bowler on view so far this series.- Alec Stewart (@StewieCricket) July 19, 2014
16:19 IST: BREAKING! The ICC says match referee David Boon has rated the pitch used at Trent Bridge for the first Test as "poor". This comes after England and Indian cricketers also expressed their displeasure with the surface.
16:09 IST: WICKET! Shami makes a major breakthrough and Prior falls for 23. The English wicketkeeper fell to a short ball banged in by Shami as England reach 265/7, trailing by 30 runs.
16:04 IST: Ishant back in the attack and FOUR! Plunkett helps himself to another boundary as India seem to be losing the plot rather drastically this morning. England are looking very much in control. And FOUR! This time Plunkett pulls Ishant away with disdain.
16:00 IST: This has been a top start by England. Both overnight batsmen have come out all guns blazing and have scored 33 runs in 30 minutes. The hosts are certainly playing to a plan and they would be eager to press home their advantage, when they get one. England are 253/6.
15:57 IST: FOUR! Good ball from Shami but Prior moves his feet well and plays another lovely shot through off-side. Both England batsmen are looking very settled now and they have decided not to hang around on a day when they would look to bowl at India. England are 247/6 and trail by 48 runs.
15:54 IST: FOUR! A beautiful backfoot punch by Plunkett off Kumar races away to the fence and he shows why he has two first-class hundreds; he is an ideal foil for Prior, who is looking to wipe off the deficit as quickly as possible.
15:48 IST: Bowling change. Ishant Sharma has been taken off the attack and Mohammed Shami replaces him. Can he support Kumar and help India sneak in a few early wickets? England are 231/6 and trail India by 64 runs.
15:37 IST: Two runs from the Kumar over and England are 222/6. The pitch is a lot better to bat on today, says Sourav Ganguly, but with the overcast conditions, maybe India's seamers will get some purchase.
15:35 IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl the second over of the day; he had bowled a lot of overs yesterday and Wasim Akram feared he could be burnt out before too late. What will be his workload like today?
15:33 IST: Ishant Sharma started proceedings for the day and tested both Prior and Plunkett; just one run off the over as England moved to 220/6, trailing by 76 runs.
15:25 IST: Matt Prior and Liam Plunlettt will walk out with a lot of pressure. Do they score quickly or do they just stall India a bit longer? The morning session could make or break the Test for either of the teams. Day 3 starts with England still trailing by 76 runs.
This series has seen some great rearguard batting. Specialist bowlers have performed like accomplished all-rounders and effectively, the word 'tail-enders' have lost its significance. England start at 219 for six (86 overs) with Matt Prior and Liam Plunkett batting on 2 and 4, respectively. Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad and James Anderson will be the men to follow. After their record 10th wicket stand at Nottingham, the Indians will treat Broad and Anderson with plenty of respect.
The Indians have the second new ball. Skipper MS Dhoni will look up to his three main seamers - Ishant Sharma, Kumar and Mohammed Shami - to get the early breakthroughs. The Indians have a 76-run lead and if the bowlers can ensure a first-innings cushion, the odds will be against England. India's fielding will be key. They can't afford to drop catches and miss run-outs. Day 3 is for a perfect day's cricket.
On Friday, young Gary Ballance rescued England, very much like Ajinkya Rahane did. Ballance scored his second Test century to put the game in balance. England will surely excuse him for drunken misdemeanor after the Trent Bridge Test. Ballance and Moeen Ali, two of England's success stories in what has been a tough period after series defeats by Australia and Sri Lanka, combined to good effect. They put on 98 for the fifth wicket, having come together with their side in trouble at 113 for four.
While others in England's order struggle, Zimbabwe-born Ballance continues to prosper at number three, scoring two centuries and two half-centuries in his last five turns at the crease. Ballance fell shortly after the new ball was taken. "To score a hundred at Lord's is amazing really, I can't think of anything better than that," Ballance, who was pictured in British media topless at a Nottingham bar after the drawn first Test, told a news conference.
Kumar's swing has done the trick for India. He was the pick of the Indian bowlers, getting rid of captain Alastair Cook and Sam Robson before lunch and Ian Bell after the break. "It's a great thing to get four wickets here but the more important thing is to get them out as early as possible tomorrow (Saturday)," Kumar said. "We had a plan, but having said that, if you've got a supportive wicket especially then you have to be more disciplined than normal."
With the wicket getting easier to bat on and no sign of the rain clouds, Kumar and his fellow bowlers will have their task cut out.