Former revives the innings with Bairstow and Moeen; the latter chips in with a half-century
England was bowled out for 290 in reply to India’s first innings 191, a lead of 99, on the second day of the fourth Test at the Oval on Friday. The visitors were 43 for no loss in their second essay at stumps, with Rohit Sharma (20) and K.L. Rahul (22) at the crease.
Rohit was the more cautious as he hit two fours during his 56-ball knock while Rahul stroked four fours in his 41-ball innings.
Earlier, Pope top-scored with 81 on his Surrey home ground while all-rounder Chris Woakes, playing in his first Test in over a year, made 50.
Woakes was unbeaten on 17 when No. 11 James Anderson walked to the crease, but the pair added 35 before he was run out.
Anderson was unbeaten on one, the England great’s 100th not out in Test cricket.
The hosts were struggling at 62 for five early on Friday after paceman Umesh Yadav, playing his first Test in nearly two years, removed nightwatchman Craig Overton and Dawid Malan during a return of three for 76 in 19 overs.
Umesh needed just 10 balls to remove nightwatchman Overton for his overnight score of one, a flashing square-cut caught by India captain Virat Kohli at first slip.
Malan, fresh from his 70 on England recall in an innings win at Headingley last week, had added just five when the left-hander, squared up by Yadav, was well caught by a diving Rohit Sharma at second slip.
But Pope revived the innings as he shared partnerships of 89 and 71 with Jonny Bairstow (37) and Moeen Ali (35).
After a cautious start, Pope hit three fours in four balls off Thakur — a classic on-drive followed by a clip through mid-on before a short delivery was pulled through midwicket.
Runs started to flow as Bairstow, too, counterattacked from the other end.
Kohli brought on left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in a bid to break the partnership.
It was Mohammed Siraj, however, who reduced England to 151 to six when Bairstow was lbw playing down the wrong line to a ball that nipped back off the pitch.
But Pope leg-glanced the paceman for four to complete a 92-ball fifty — the 23-year-old’s sixth in a 20-Test career that has yielded a lone century.
It was Pope’s first half-century in 16 Test innings after his 62 against Pakistan in Manchester last year. The 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.
Moeen, on 14, was struck on the toe by a Jasprit Bumrah yorker. But India, believing he had dug the ball out with his bat, did not appeal, with replays suggesting the all-rounder might have been lbw.
INDIA — 1ST INNINGS
191 in 61.3 overs
ENGLAND — IST INNINGS
Rory Burns b Bumrah 5 (11b), Haseeb Hameed c Pant b Bumrah 0 (12b), Dawid Malan c Rohit b Umesh 31 (67b, 5×4), Joe Root b Umesh 21 (25b, 4×4), Craig Overton c Kohli b Umesh 1 (12b), Ollie Pope b Shardul 81 (159b, 6×4), Jonny Bairstow lbw b Siraj 37 (77b, 7×4), Moeen Ali c Rohit b Jadeja 35 (71b, 7×4), Chris Woakes run out 50 (60b, 11×4), Ollie Robinson b Jadeja 5 (6b), James Anderson (not out) 1 (12b); Extras (b-1, lb-14, nb-8): 23; Total (in 84 overs): 290.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-5 (Burns, 3.2 overs), 2-6 (Hameed, 3.6), 3-52 (Root, 15.3), 4-53 (Overton, 18.4), 5-62 (Malan, 24.3), 6-151 (Bairstow, 46.5), 7-222 (Moeen, 67.2), 8-250 (Pope, 76.1), 9-255 (Robinson, 77.1).
Umesh 19-2-76-3, Bumrah 21-6-67-2, Shardul 15-2-54-1, Siraj 12-4-42-1, Jadeja 17-1-36-2
INDIA — 2ND INNINGS
Rohit Sharma (batting) 20 (56b, 2×4), K.L. Rahul (batting) 22 (41b, 4×4); Extras (nb-1): 1; Total (for no loss in 16 overs): 43.
Anderson 6-1-13-0, Robinson 4-0-21-0, Woakes 5-1-8-0, Overton 1-0-1-0..