England reduced India to 46/3 in their second innings after being bowled out for 271 in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day of the fourth and penultimate Test here on Sunday.
India, chasing 245 to win the match and level the series 2-2, lost opening batsmen Shikhar Dhawan (17) and Lokesh Rahul (0) as well as Cheteshwar Pujara (5) to find themselves in a precarious position.
Captain Virat Kohli (10 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (13 not out) survived some close calls to keep India’s hopes alive at the Rose Bowl Cricket Stadium.
The day, however, began the way India expected. Resuming the day at 260/8, England lost Sam Curran (46) and Stuart Broad (0) as the hosts could add only 11 runs in about half-an-hour on Sunday.
Broad was the first to go, as he became seamer Mohammad Shami’s fourth victim of the innings. Trying to slash a wide delivery, he only managed an edge to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.
Left-hander Curran hit off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on the leg side but his decision to take a double hurt him. Ishant Sharma made a long throw to ensure Curran fall short of the crease as England’s second innings ended at 271. With India having a 27-run first-innings lead, India needed 245 to win the match.
India’s chase was wobbly from the beginning. A delivery from experienced seamer Broad kept low before rattling the stumps of Lokesh Rahul.
Then, first-innings centurion Pujara failed to fend off an inswinging delivery from veteran seamer Anderson. The ball hit Pujara’s right thigh — an easy decision for the umpire to judge him LBW.
Dhawan was the final wicket to fall before the lunch session. An edge off a delivery from Anderson saw Ben Stokes take a very good catch at slip, as India lost their third wicket at 22.
Then, Kohli and Rahane endured some hostile bowling to take India to 46/3. Off-spinner Moeen Ali thought he had Kohli, who was on 9. But the umpire ruled out the LBW appeal. England sought a review but the decision stood as Kohli was found to have edged the ball on to his pad.
Couple of overs later, Rahane too got a reprieve when he was batting on 12. Left-arm seamer Curran got an LBW verdict against Rahane with an away-moving ball hitting the right pad. Rahane took a review and it was later revealed that Curran had overstepped the crease.
Brief scores: England 246 & 271 (Jos Buttler 69, Joe Root 48, Sam Curran 46, Keaton Jennings 36; Mohammad Shami 4/57, Ishant Sharma 2/36) against India: 273 all out and 46/3 (Shikhar Dhawan 13 not out; James Anderson 2/15) on Day 4.