England v India: Chris Woakes hits maiden century to put hosts in charge

Woakes reaches maiden Test century
Second Specsavers Test, Lord’s (day three of five)
India 107: Anderson 5-20, Woakes 2-19
England 357-6: Woakes 120*, Bairstow 93
England lead by 250 runs

Chris Woakes’ maiden Test century put England in total control on the third day of the second Test against India.

The all-rounder’s unbeaten 120, coupled with 93 from Jonny Bairstow, took the hosts to 357-6, a lead of 250.

England slipped to 89-4 before Bairstow and Woakes shared a sixth-wicket stand of 179 at Lord’s.

Heavy rain is expected for much of Sunday, but England have put themselves in an ideal position to win this Test and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Although bad light ended play early and spared India further punishment, they will need a much-improved batting performance after their first-innings 107 if they are to save the match.

Cook falls early to ‘absolute beauty’

Woakes repays England’s faith

It was not certain that Woakes, recently recovered from injury, would play in this Test. England decided on the second morning to select him over off-spinner Moeen Ali, with Ben Stokes on trial for affray.

Woakes had already impressed with the ball, dismissing India captain Virat Kohli in taking 2-19 on Friday, but was arguably even more impressive with the bat from number seven.

He immediately looked composed and his assured play calmed down Bairstow, who frequently played and missed early in his innings.

Bairstow reached his half-century first, cover driving left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for four, before Woakes outpaced him.

He targeted Ravichandran Ashwin, scooping him over the wicketkeeper’s head and flogging him over cow corner for four as he neared three figures.

The shot that brought up his century – a pull over mid-wicket for three – was a rare mistimed stroke.

Bairstow looked set to follow Woakes to his hundred before he edged a flat-footed drive at Hardik Pandya behind.

Root falls to final ball before lunch

India face uphill battle

India might be left to rue their team selection for this match.

They dropped seamer Umesh Yadav for Kuldeep, but he was untidy and proved expensive, with his nine overs costing 44.

The three seamers had the most impact on a pitch that still offered some movement and showed signs of low bounce, with four of the England top six dismissed lbw.

As the day progressed, India became flatter in the field, and they were worked around with ease by Woakes and Sam Curran, who finished unbeaten on 22, in the evening.

It is a tough ask for them to get something out of this Test.

Cook falls early to ‘absolute beauty’

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