BIRMINGHAM, Aug 3: Chasing a coveted Test victory on English soil, a nervy India ended the action-packed third day of the first match at a precarious 110 for five, still 84 runs adrift from a tricky 194-run target, here today.
India allowed England to put on board 180 runs, despite having them on the mat at 87 for 7 at one stage with Ishant Sharma (5/51) and R Ashwin (3/39) troubling the hosts in the first two sessions.
It was young all-rounder Sam Curran who bolstered the England second innings with a fighting 63 off just 65 balls with nine fours and two sixes.
The England pace battery, led by Stuart Broad, gobbled up half the Indian batting line-up under favourable overcast conditions as the visiting batsmen were either reckless with their shot selection or got too good deliveries to counter.
Kohli, who turned it around for India in the first innings with a combative 149, now stands between victory and defeat for the visitors.
The defiant skipper was batting on 43 and giving him company was a disciplined Dinesh Karthik (18) when the stumps were drawn for the day. They added 32 runs for the unbeaten sixth wicket.
The first session tomorrow holds the key for both sides.
England did not have to wait long for their first breakthroughs as Broad (2/29) trapped Vijay and had Shikhar Dhawan (13) caught behind.
KL Rahul (13) did not look too comfortable at the crease, and fell to Ben Stokes (1/25) just as his third-wicket partnership with Kohli was starting to take shape.
Kohli survived a hairy lbw shout against Sam Curran
(1/17), but DRS showed the ball sailing over middle stump. But the left-arm young pacer was able to nab Ajinkya Rahane (2), caught behind soon afterwards.
India tried a different approach to stop the downcurve, and Ashwin (13) came out to bat at number five. He lasted less than four overs before Anderson came back to turn the game in England�s favour yet again.
Kohli and Karthik dug in deep to make sure that the game went into the fourth day.
England 1st innings: 287
India 1st innings: 274
England 2nd innings: (Overnight 9/1) Cook b Ashwin 0, Jennings c Rahul b Ashwin 8, Root c Rahul b Ashwin 14, Malan c Rahane b Sharma 20, Bairstow c Dhawan b Sharma 28, Stokes c Kohli b Sharma 6, Buttler c Karthik b Sharma 1, Curran c Karthik b Yadav 63, Rashid b Yadav 16, Broad c Dhawan b Sharma 11, J Anderson not out 0, Extras: (b-10, lb-2, nb-1) 13. Total: (all out, 53 overs) 180. Fall of wkts: 1-9, 2-18, 3-39, 4-70, 5-85, 6-86, 7-87, 8-135, 9-176. Bowling: Shami 12-2-38-0, Ashwin 21-4-59-3, Sharma 13-0-51-5, Yadav 7-1-20-2.
India 2nd innings: Vijay lbw b Broad 6, Dhawan c Bairstow b Broad 13, Rahul c Bairstow b Stokes 13, Kohli batting 43, Rahane c Bairstow b Curran 2, Ashwin c Bairstow b Anderson 13, Karthik batting 18, Extras: (b-1, lb-1) 2. Total (5 wickets, 36 overs) 110. Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-22, 3-46, 4-63, 5-78. Bowling: Anderson 11-2-33-1, Broad 9-1-29-2, Stokes 10-1-25-1, Curran 5-0-17-1, Rashid 1-0-4-0. � PTI