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Saturday, Sep 26th

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England storm 237 runs ahead at The Oval

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England have driven home their advantage in the fifth and final test of their long series with India by taking an impressive 237 runs lead at the end of day 2. Half centuries from Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance set the day up perfectly for the hosts before Joe Root continued his impeccable run of form this summer by making an unbeaten 92 to put England in pole position to win this series 3-1.

Resuming from their overnight score of 62-0, England lost Sam Robson early on in the piece for 37, bowled by Varun Aaron, but an unbeaten stand worth 86 between Cook and Ballance allowed England to head into lunch with the scores level.

India once again did themselves no favours by dropping Alastair Cook twice in the slips, but had a decent spell after lunch during which they claimed 4 wickets for 38 runs with Ian Bell (7) and Moeen Ali (14) the two other casualties.

England rebounded though after that mini-collapse with Root sharing an 80 run stand with Jos Buttler (45) for the sixth wicket to stabilize the innings. Ishant Sharma finally broke the stand having Buttler caught at short midwicket by Ashwin, and though India picked up another wicket immediately after, that of Chris Woakes for naught, England ended the day very much in command at 385-7 with Root just 8 short of yet another century.

With three full days of cricket left, England can afford to bat for as long as they last tomorrow before having a second go at the out of form Indian batsmen, who have failed to get anywhere near 200 runs in their last three test innings.

Teams:

England: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

India: Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Dhoni (c & wk), Stuart Binny, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron.

Mini Scorecard:

India 1st Innings 148 all out (61.1 overs)

MS Dhoni 82 C Woakes 3-30

England 1st Innings 385-7 (105.0 overs)

Root 92* R Ashwin 2-55