Root, Buttler stretch England's lead to 173 (Lunch Report)
A 134-run seventh wicket partnership between Joe Root and Jos Buttler helped England consolidate their grip over the match, being 325 for eight with a 173-run first innings lead over India at lunch on day three of the fourth cricket Test at Old Trafford here Saturday.
After heavy rain had halted England's progress on day two, the hosts resumed on 237 for six and went about reinforcing their position in the Test.
England scored 88 runs off 26 overs in the session, averaging a little more than three runs per over.
Root (77) and Buttler (70) played without very many faults as the Indian pacers once again looked short on ideas.
With nine overs remaining for the new ball, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted to start the day with Pankaj Singh and Ravindra Jadeja.
Root and Buttler were well settled by the time the red cherry was in the hands of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Barring a close lbw shout, the English batsmen easily negotiated the new ball.
Varun Aaron, who has had made a positive impact in the match taking three wickets, also failed to inspire his team.
The English duo added 67 runs in the morning session before Root became Pankaj Singh's first Test victim.
It wasn't the best of deliveries from the Indian pacer who took 69.2 overs to take his first wicket in Test cricket.
Pankaj Singh, who went wicketless in his debut Test at The Rose Bowl, got a short ball to nip back in. Root could have easily left the ball alone but managed to get a feather touch down the leg side, giving an easy catch to Dhoni behind the stumps.
It seemed that the hosts would go into the lunch break with just the one casualty but a slower delivery in the final over of the session from Pankaj Singh removed the dangerous Buttler to finally give some hope to the visitors.
(Posted on 10-08-2014)