Cricket: Bairstow and Woakes put England in strong position

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LONDON (Reuters) – Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes led England into a strong position at tea on the third day of the second test at Lord’s on Saturday as their unbeaten 99-run partnership earned the hosts a significant lead of 123 runs over India. England had stumbled to 89-4 in reply to India’s first- innings 107, but Bairstow played confidently and was unbeaten on 62 at the interval while the returning Woakes (55 not out) notched up his fifth test fifty as the hosts reached 230-5. Bairstow hit eight boundaries and scored freely to keep pressure on the India bowlers and Woakes also struck eight fours following his two wickets on Friday. Jos Buttler was the one wicket to fall in the afternoon session, trapped lbw for a breezy 24 by the impressive Mohammed Shami who claimed three wickets. Earlier, England’s top order again failed with openers Keaton Jennings (11) and Alastair Cook (21) falling in successive overs. The 20-year-old Ollie Pope impressed on debut but fell for 28 before captain Joe Root, strangely subdued, was lbw to Shami for 19 with the last ball before lunch. England lead the five-match series 1-0.

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