A dominant batting performance from the home team led by half-centuries from Ollie Pope (81) and Chris Woakes (50) propels England to a total of 290 runs in the first innings of the fourth Test match at The Oval in London. After losing half their side with 62 runs on the board, valuable contributions from the lower middle order enabled the home team to take a vital 99-run lead in the Test match.
In reply, a steady opening partnership between KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma ensured Team India ended Day 2 on 43/0, trailing by 56 runs.
Earlier in the day, with the game evenly poised, the visiting side started in an emphatic fashion as Umesh Yadav scalped two wickets in the first hour of the play. The right-arm bowler first induced an edge from Craig Overton in the second over of the day to dent the batting unit of the opposition.
With overcast conditions on offer and a wicket early in the spell, Umesh bowled a consistent line and length to trouble Dawid Malan and Ollie Pope in the first half of the session. The 33-year old was awarded for his accuracy as he picked up the vital wicket of Malan for 31. Bowling round the stumps, the southpaw poked his bat outside the off stump and was caught brilliantly by Rohit Sharma in the slip cordon.
Umesh on fire! 🔥— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) September 3, 2021
Gets Malan to nick one to Rohit at slip.
Tune into Sony Six (ENG), Sony Ten 3 (HIN), Sony Ten 4 (TAM, TEL) & SonyLIV (https://t.co/AwcwLCPFGm ) now! 📺#ENGvINDOnlyOnSonyTen #BackOurBoys #Umesh #Malan pic.twitter.com/MdKd0xLu4k
With the home team tottering at 62/5, Pope and Jonny Bairstow started to consolidate the innings. The duo stitched a crucial 89-run partnership for the sixth wicket to help the England team inch closer to India's first innings total of 191 runs.
However, Bairstow was undone by an incoming delivery from Mohammed Siraj for 37 to end a promising stand. Despite wickets tumbling at the other end, Pope crafted his way to a well-compiled half-century. Along with Moeen Ali, he displayed an array of strokes all around the ground to help England crucial take the first innings.
Ollie Pope steadied England’s ship after the loss of quick wickets and scored a gritty half-century.— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) September 3, 2021
Tune into Sony Six (ENG), Sony Ten 3 (HIN), Sony Ten 4 (TAM, TEL) & SonyLIV (https://t.co/AwcwLCPFGm ) now! 📺#ENGvINDOnlyOnSonyTen #BackOurBoys #Pope pic.twitter.com/Zcqonui7kh
Making a comeback to the playing XI, Pope made optimum use of the conducive batting conditions en route to his match-defining innings of 81. His wicket, however, did not dent Woakes as he continued to attack the opposition and notched up a crucial half-century to take the lead near a 100-run mark.
With 56 runs behind, the visiting side will need a commanding batting performance in the second innings to set up the game in this high voltage series.