Sunday, 19 September, 2021
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England take lead against India

England take lead against India

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Ollie Pope marked his return to England duty with a long-awaited fifty as he guided England into a first-innings lead in the fourth Test against India at the Oval on Friday after a top-order collapse.

England were 227-7 at tea on the second day, 36 runs ahead of India's 191, with the intriguing five-match series all square at 1-1.

Pope, only recalled because Jos Buttler missed the match on paternity leave, was 74 not out on his Surrey home ground.

It was Pope's first half-century in 16 Test innings since a 62 against Pakistan in Manchester last year. This knock also extended his excellent record at the Oval where, prior to Friday, he had scored 1,410 runs at an average of 100.71 in 18 first-class innings.

England were in deep trouble at 62-5 after losing two wickets early in the day.

But Pope's partnerships of 89 with Jonny Bairstow (37) and 71 with Moeen Ali (35) wrested the initiative from India. England resumed Friday on 53-3.