[ad_1] 1st Test, Day 3: Ollie Pope defies India with gritty ton, pulls England into lead

Jan 27, 2024

1st Test, Day 3: Ollie Pope defies India with gritty ton, pulls England into lead


Pope masterclass on Day 3

Ollie Pope transformed the RGI Stadium into a gladiatorial fighting arena with a doughty hundred as England reached 316 for six to temporarily resist India's push for a win on the third day of the first Test.

Image Source: AFP

Ton-up Pope pulls England into lead

England vice-captain Pope (148 batting) and Rehan Ahmed (16 batting) were guarding England's second innings fort at close and the visitors are now 126 runs ahead of India, an unimaginable position at the dawn of the day.

Image Source: Reuters

England middle-order disappoints

The tourists had risked a defeat inside three days after India, having built a lead of 190, reduced England to 163-5 in their second innings in the second session of the day.

Image Source: AP

Big Pope ton

But Pope dug his heels in, hitting 17 fours in a 274-minute masterclass to produce arguably his finest knock even though India are confident of going 1-0 up in the five-match series.

Image Source: ANI

England 126 ahead

Rehan was keeping Pope company with England finishing the third day on 316-6, putting them 126 ahead with four wickets in hand.

Image Source: Getty Images

Unbeaten since 2012

India, who have not lost a Test series on home soil since 2012, amassed 436 in their reply to England's first innings 246.

Image Source: TOI Sports

Positive start from openers

That left England with a mountain to climb and the touring batters did not retreat into any defensive shell. Openers Zak Crawley (31) and Ben Duckett (47) scored freely, frequently employing the sweep shot -- both traditional and reverse -- to negate India's spinners.

Image Source: IANS

Ashwin draws first blood in 2nd innings

Crawley motored along at a run-a-ball rate but could not convert the start and edged a R Ashwin ball to lone slip Rohit Sharma. Bumrah then uprooted Duckett's off-stump and let out a roar.

Image Source: PTI

Root disappoints

Joe Root, who excelled as a part-time spinner claiming 4-79, walked away for just two after getting trapped in front by Bumrah.

Image Source: AP

Bairstow outdone by Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja foxed Johnny Bairstow (10) by first spinning one past the bat and then following it with a delivery that pitched on the same spot but went straight. Bairstow, expecting it to turn, did not offer any shot and looked in horror as the ball went on to disturb his stumps.

Image Source: PTI

Stokes misery continues

Ashwin then dismissed Ben Stokes for the 12th time in Tests, for six, with a flighted delivery that beat the pad and hit the off-stump.

Image Source: ANI

Pope day!

Pope, dropped on 110 by Axar Patel, then combined with Ben Foakes (34) in a century stand for the sixth wicket.

Image Source: PTI

Next: KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja put India on top in first England Test