India paceman Pankaj Singh claimed his long-awaited first wicket in Test cricket yesterday as hosts England extended their first innings lead to 173 runs at lunch on the third day of their fourth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Singh, who made his debut in the third Test at Southampton, removed Joe Root (77) and Jos Buttler (70) as England progressed to 325 for eight, thanks to the robust 134-run partnership between the pair.
It was Singh’s maiden Test wicket after toiling through 69 overs and two balls in vain. Chris Woakes (6) and Stuart Broad (0) were unbeaten at the crease at the interval.
Both Root and Buttler were caught as Singh varied his pace to good effect, India having taken the new ball at 257-6 after England had resumed at 237-6 following Friday’s rain-curtailed action.
Root, who looked set for a century after playing with confidence and flair, was dismissed when he gloved a rising delivery off his pads down the leg side to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Root earlier completed his seventh Test half-century with a tickled shot off his pads as England seemed to be settling in to build a substantial total without much discomfort.
Buttler survived when he was dropped by Virat Kohli in the gully at 34, off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and hit some powerful boundaries before lofting a drive to Cheteshwar Pujara at mid-off from a disguised slower ball in the final over before the interval. The five-match series is level at 1-1.
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