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Cricket: India strike bowler Kumar leads India’s fourth Test revival


India bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar (L) celebrates taking the wicket of England batsman Sam Robson (not pictured) during play on the first day of the fourth cricket Test match between England and India at Old Trafford in Manchester. Photo - AFP

Manchester: Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled India back into the fourth Test as England took their turn to struggle with the bat at Old Trafford on Friday.

England were 201 for six at lunch on the second day, a lead of just 49 runs, after they had skittled out India for 152 on Thursday with Stuart Broad taking six for 25.

Joe Root was 23 not out and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, on his Lancashire home ground, 13 not out.

Swing bowler Kumar, a thorn in England's side with both bat and ball this series, took two wickets for one run in eight deliveries to dismiss nightwatchman Chris Jordan (13) and the in-form Ian Bell (58).

England resumed on 113 for three, with Bell 45 not out and Jordan yet to score.

Bell, fresh from his hundred in England's 266-run win at Southampton — their first victory in 11 Tests — that levelled the five-match series at 1-1, late cut Kumar for four to go to 49.

His single off Pankaj Singh then saw Bell complete a 63-ball fifty including eight fours and a six.

The overcast conditions, as they had when India collapsed to eight for four after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss on Thursday, aided swing movement.

But it was Kumar's looping bouncer that did for Jordan as he mistimed a pull and was well caught by Varun Aaron, moving low to his right at midwicket.

And 136 for four became 140 for five when Bell, beaten the ball before by Kumar's superb outswinger, was undone by another good length delivery that this time took the edge on its way through to wicketkeeper Dhoni.

England had now lost half their first-innings wickets and had still to equal India's score.

Moeen Ali had proved vulnerable to the bouncer in his brief Test career to date.

But Ali's response to two successive Kumar short balls was to get over the top of both deliveries and pull them down for well-struck fours.

However, when recalled fast bowler Aaron, significantly quicker than Kumar, let fly with a bouncer from around the wicket he hit a clearly unsettled Root on the helmet.

Aaron, persisting with the around the wicket approach, hurried Ali with a short-pitcher before next ball bowling him for 13 with a full-length delivery as the left-hander aimed towards midwicket.

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