England’s Mark Wood and Moeen Ali struck late on against India at Lord’s on Sunday to leave the second Test intriguingly poised heading into the last day.
The tourists were 181-6 in their second innings, a lead of 154 runs, when bad light forced an early close.
The start of a fourth day of fluctuating fortunes had seen Wood remove the in-form KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.
And the visitors were in even greater trouble at 55-3 when Sam Curran captured the prize wicket of India captain Virat Kohli.
Cheteshwar Pujara (45) and Ajinkya Rahane (61), both of whom had previously struggled for runs this series, checked England’s progress albeit it took them 59 overs to add exactly 100 for the fourth wicket.
But from 155-3, India then lost three wickets for 20 runs.
Express quick Wood dismissed Pujara before off-spinner Moeen removed Rahane and the dangerous Ravindra Jadeja.
Pujara’s 206-ball vigil ended when a Wood delivery lept off a length and lobbed gently to Root at second slip to leave India 155-4.
Rahane was then caught behind cutting off Moeen, who then bowled Jadeja with a superb delivery that turned and bounced to clip the top of the left-hander’s off stump.
Wood, recalled after Stuart Broad suffered a series-ending calf injury having played in last week’s rain-marred drawn first Test at Trent Bridge, had figures of 3-40 in 14 overs.
But, worryingly for England, Wood also had a shoulder injury that would need to be assessed in the morning after diving headlong into an advertising board when saving a boundary.
Mooen, brought back in place of dropped batsman Dan Lawrence to an attack missing star all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer, had 2-52 in 20 overs.
Shortly before play ended, the umpires appeared to suggest the game could not proceed if England took the new ball in the gathering gloom, even though the floodlights were on.
England, however, did not want to risk conceding runs in those circumstances, with Rishabh Pant 14 not out and Ishant Sharma unbeaten on four.
Play resumed Sunday with England 27 runs ahead following captain Joe Root’s superb 180 not in his side’s first-innings 391.
Rahul and Rohit had provided the bulk of India’s first-innings 364 with 129 and 83 respectively.
But Rahul fell for five on Sunday when, having left the ball so well this series, he edged a 93 mph (150 kph) Wood delivery straight into wicketkeeper Jos Buttler’s gloves.
Rohit drew India level when he pulled a 91 mph Wood ball for six. But trying to repeat the shot just three balls later, even though three fielders were out for the hook, he was well caught low down by Moeen, running in from deep square leg, for 21.
India were now effectively none for two.
Kohli, who had been in good touch, survived left-arm swing bowler Curran’s review for lbw on height.
But still on 20 and seemingly playing for inswinger, Kohli edged a Curran delivery angled across him and was caught behind off a thin nick to spark a joyful run in celebration from the bowler.
© Agence France-Presse