Cricket: Cook fails, England slump

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Alastair Cook’s poor form continued as England were reduced to 105-4 in pursuit of a target of 319 on day four of the second Test against India at Lord’s.
England captain Cook, without a Test century since May 2013, was caught behind for 22 off Ishant Sharma, the last of three wickets to go down in the space of 20 balls in the evening session.
Mohammad Shami (1-20) started the collapse by finding Gary Ballance’s outside edge to end a second-wicket partnership of 58 and Ishant (2-13) bowled Ian Bell with a delivery that kept low, before following up by dismissing Cook in his next over.
Joe Root (14no) and Moeen Ali (15no) survived some anxious moments through to stumps but England will resume on the final morning needing another 214 runs to avoid their winless run stretching to 10 Tests.
The afternoon session had belonged to India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who led a lower-order counter-attack with 68 off 57 balls and then trapped Sam Robson lbw early in England’s run chase. 
Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, numbers eight and nine in the order, both hit rapid half-centuries and put on 99 either side of lunch as India recovered from 235-7 to 342 all out in their second innings. 
Jadeja, whose alleged altercation with James Anderson during the drawn series opener at Trent Bridge will be the subject of an ICC hearing in the coming weeks, cruised to his maiden Test 50 from 42 deliveries.
He treated England’s seam attack with disdain, regularly using his feet to advance and hitting nine fours before Ben Stokes ended his fun on 68.
Kumar, fresh from his six-wicket haul in the first innings, benefited from an early life when Root was unable to hold a head-high chance at fourth slip off Stuart Broad’s bowling.
He made the most of it, supporting Jadeja and then cutting loose himself to bring up his third 50 of the series – he made scores of 58 and 63 not out in Nottingham – from 65 deliveries.
England spinner Moeen (2-28) had Shami caught behind for a duck to leave India nine down and Stokes (3-51) finally brought an end to the innings by having Kumar held by Bell at second slip.
Vijay falls short   
India opener Murali Vijay had narrowly missed out on a century as the match remained in the balance during a tense morning.
Vijay, on 59 overnight, edged behind off Anderson’s bowling for 95 shortly after England had taken the second new ball.
The India opener, who made 146 in the first innings at Trent Bridge, extended his fifth-wicket stand with Dhoni to 79 during the opening hour.
Liam Plunkett (3-65) found some extra bounce to dismiss Dhoni (19) via an edge to Bell in the slips, Stuart Binny holed out for a duck after giving Moeen the charge and Anderson removed Vijay as, with India only 211 in front at that point, England briefly held the ascendancy.

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