The Indian top order failed once again to offer captain Virat Kohli the support he needed to offer resistance to a buoyant England at The Oval.
With 12 overs left before the close, Kohli was once again fighting a lone hand on 46 not out, for a series total of 578 runs (ave 72.25), more than double India’s next highest scoring batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara (278 runs, ave 46.33).
At the top of the Indian innings, Shikhar Dhawan was trapped leg before for three, having not reached 50 once in this series. KL Rahul and Pujara were both dismissed for 37, followed by Ajinkya Rahane for an eight-ball duck to leave India on 131-4, with Test debutant Hanuma Vihari on two after facing 29 balls.
Ben Stokes then dismissed Kohli for 49, caught by Joe Root, as India slipped to 160-6. This is the fourth time that Kohli has fallen just short of a milestone in the series, having previously been dismissed for scores of 149, 97 and 46.
Debutant Vihari found his feet in Test cricket after a slow start to his innings, racing to 25 off 50 balls and hitting three fours and a six to move to 25 not out at the close of play. India is currently 174-6 off 51 overs, with Ben Stokes (2-44) and Jimmy Anderson (2-20) the prime wicket-takers.
England resumed their innings after lunch on 304-8, Rahul taking a sensational diving catch to remove Stuart Broad for 38 off 59 balls. Jos Buttler struck out lustily having been joined at the crease by number 11 batsman Anderson. The pair added 20 runs in just over four overs, with Buttler farming the strike to the extent that Anderson only faced five balls during that period, without scoring a run.
Buttler was the last man out after a well played 89 off 133 balls, caught in the slips off Ravindra Jadeja, who also picked up the wicket of Broad to end the innings with figures of 4-79 as England were bowled out for 332.
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