Joe Root hits another half-century as England move ahead of India

Joe Root hits another half-century as England recover from the early losses of Rory Burns and Zak Crawley to move into the lead against India but first Test remains in the balance

  • England reached lunch on day four on 119 for two, a lead of 24 over India
  • Joe Root launched his latest rescue mission after Burns and Crawley fell early
  • Skipper passed his half-century before lunch as Dom Sibley dug in with him
  • Burns made 18 before edging Mohammed Siraj through to Rishabh Pant
  • Crawley scored just six and then nicked Jasprit Bumrah as England wobbled
  • Root and Sibley will hope to build a large lead but rain threatens in forecast 

Joe Root’s fluent half-century led England’s recovery after they lost the early wickets of Rory Burns and Zak Crawley.

They reached lunch on 119 for two, a lead of 24 over India, after also getting the benefit of two crucial review decisions with Dom Sibley digging himself in alongside his captain.

Both Burns and Crawley fell inside the first hour of day four with England fans at Trent Bridge feeling a repeat of the sorry batting collapse in the first innings on Wednesday. 

England captain Joe Root cracks a smile as he bats during the morning session at Trent Bridge

Root passed his half-century just before lunch as he followed up his first innings knock of 64

Root looked fluent once again having been England’s stand-out batsman in the first innings

England resumed on 25 without loss but were quickly in trouble. Burns, who didn’t score in the first innings, looked in fairly good touch on 18 when Mohammed Siraj’s fierce delivery slanted away from its middle stump line to clip the outside edge.

Dom Sibley was his usual cautious self at the other end but Crawley came and went in under 10 minutes. He made six before pushing defensively at Jasprit Bumrah and nicking behind.

His team on 46 for two and wobbling, Root walked out to the crease to launch his latest rescue mission.

Root had soon caught Sibley up but survived one or two nervy moments, not least in consecutive balls from Bumrah.    

A dejected Zak Crawley walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah

Crawley made just six runs before Rishabh Pant took the catch off the bowling of Bumrah

He almost got caught out by unexpected bounce on the first, prodding away, and then nicked the second but with hands soft enough that it dropped short of first slip.

But the assurance that marked Root’s first innings 64 was again apparent in the boundaries scored but England needed a reprieve at the other end.

Sibley was given out LBW on 24 off Shardul Thakur but Root convinced his partner to review the decision.

Replays showed the ball sneaking down the leg side, leaving Root to celebrate the verdict with a fist bump as his own instincts were vindicated. 

India celebrate after Rory Burns falls for 18 off the bowling of Mohammed Siraj early on

Siraj achieved the early breakthrough India were seeking as opener Burns was dismissed

England wiped out India’s lead moments later but survived another review when Virat Kohli was convinced Root was out LBW trying to cut Ravindra Jadeja.

The tourists fancied their chances but replays showed impact well outside the line.

Root’s 51st Test century came off 68 balls and just a few minutes before lunch as he edges through the slips for four.

Rain features prominently in the Nottingham weather forecast for the afternoon as England look to build a match-winning, or at least match-saving, lead.  

India’s Shardul Thakur appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of England’s Dom Sibley 

Mohammed Shami reacts after bowling a delivery as England captain Joe Root watches on

England’s Dom Sibley ducks a bouncer as India search for the wickets they crave on day four

The rain that has caused interruptions throughout the first Test at Trent Bridge stayed away before lunch 

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