London: Opener Murali Vijay missed out on a deserving century by five runs as India stretched their overall lead to 243 at lunch on the fourth day of the second cricket Test against England, here today.
At lunch, India reached 267 for seven in their second innings as Ravindra Jadeja took advantage of the second new ball with some quick runs as he reached 37 off 30 balls with six boundaries. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was giving him company on 13 in a stand of 32 for the eighth wicket.
Vijay should be kicking himself for missing out on second successive hundred in as many Tests having fought doggedly in his 247-ball knock that had 11 boundaries including a picture perfect cover drive off Ben Stokes.
Under overcast skies with floodlights on, India started the day 145 runs ahead, needing Vijay and skipper MS Dhoni (19 runs, 86 balls, 2 fours) to bat long enough to see out the second new ball that was due after 17 overs.
To their credit the batsmen started off where they had left the last evening, Vijay playing with patience while Dhoni persisting at the crease, adding 79 runs for the fifth wicket.
They were also picking boundaries at will as the English bowling replicated much of the poor lines they bowled on day one.
Their 50-run partnership came up in the very first over of the day, while they quickly took India past the 200-run mark in the 75th over.
Then, Liam Plunkett (3-42) got the breakthrough with Dhoni caught at second slip, prodding outside the off-stump. The Indian team management then promoted Stuart Binny (0) ahead of Ravindra Jadeja, who played the most irrsponsible shot of the match.
Binny gave spinner Moeen Ali the charge and the mistimed skier was pouched by skipper Alastair Cook running back from mid-off completing a nice catch.