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India holds cricket lead

Monday, July 21, 2014

LONDON - Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara batted in contrasting styles as India built a slender lead in the third Test against England at Lord's on Saturday.

India were 1-84 in their second innings — 60 runs ahead — at tea on the third day.

Vijay, in an "old-fashioned" opener's innings was 21 not out off 89 balls in two-and-a-quarter hours at the crease.

By contrast, Pujara's unbeaten 25 had come off just 52 balls.

While Vijay was becalmed, opening partner Shikhar Dhawan made a brisk 31.

But, having struck four fours, the left-hander failed to get over the top of a cut shot off Ben Stokes and was well caught by a diving Joe Root at backward point for 31 to leave India 1-40.

It was to be the only wicket India lost in the session.

Generally, England's seamers again bowled too short and wide, allowing Vijay in particular to leave a series of harmless deliveries.

Earlier, Bhuvneshwar Kumar took six for 82 as he recorded his Test-best figures for the second time in as many matches.

But even Kumar could not prevent England gaining a first-innings lead.

England's tail wagged effectively as they added exactly 100 runs to an overnight 6-219 before the hosts were bowled out for 319.

Fast-medium bowler Kumar's return surpassed his haul of five for 82 in last week's draw at Trent Bridge — the seamer's first Test outside of India.

But nightwatchman Plunkett's Test-best 55 not out off 79 balls including helped leave England 24 runs ahead on first innings.

Together with No.11 James Anderson, fresh from his Test-best 81 at Nottingham, he added 39 in 43 balls on Saturday.

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