A sense of relief would have filled Indian hearts when the England lower-order made merry of the conditions plunging into the opposition bowlers to give the hosts a 289-run cushion at the end of the first session of day four at Lord’s on Sunday.
Chris Woakes continued from where he had left the other night adding another 16 runs to remain not-out on 137. But the chief wrecker of the early morning was 20-year-old Sam Curran, who smacked the Indian bowlers all-around, including a six over cover off Mohammed Shami to take the England lead to 289 before rain interrupted play and the umpires called for an early lunch.
But in between Woakes’ brilliant knock and the interruption of rain yet again at Lord’s, James Anderson had just enough time to remove both the Indian openers and keep the visitors reeling at 17/2.
The “muscle man” needed just one over and two balls to whizz into the 100-wicket club at a single ground by removing Murali Vijay, who was dismissed for a pair in both the innings.
He became only the second bowler after Sri-Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to take 100 or more wickets in a single ground. Murali has taken over 100 wickets at three separate venues in Test cricket – 116 wickets at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo, 117 at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy and 111 wickets at the Galle International Stadium.
What a jaffa! 💯 wickets at Lord’s for @jimmy9! 🙌
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 12, 2018
Anderson also now has the most number of wickets in an India-England series with 96 scalps followed by B.S. Chandrasekhar (95) and Anil Kumble (92).
After guiling Vijay with an out-swinger in the first inning, Anderson this time worked him out with a ball that jugged back into him kissing the bat-edge before Jonny Bairstow took a simple catch behind the wickets.
Vijay became the sixth Indian opener after Pankaj Roy, Faroukh Engineer, Wasim Jaffer, Virender Sehwag and Shikhar Dhawan to be out for a duck in both the innings of a Test match.
KL Rahul then followed suit, once again falling to a similar ball which moved into his pads. Rahul who in the last three innings in England has been dismissed to a ball outside the off stump, this time covered the line in his stance but was undone to a clever Anderson delivery that roared back into him.
Meanwhile, Indian captain Virat Kohli who had left the field in the final session of play on day three owing to an aggravated back problem did not appear in the morning. Ajinkya Rahane led in his place as England declared 396/7.
It also meant that the World No. 1 batsman couldn’t come out to bat before the 37-minute cooling-off period during which he was out during the time India was fielding. But with nine minutes off that time still remaining when Rahul was dismissed, Rahane came in as the number four.
He was bating on one alongside Cheteshwar Pujara (5) with India still 272-run behind when Rain interrupted after nine overs had been bowled in their innings.