LONDON, July 24 (IANS): Ishant Sharma brought India back into the Lord's Test with an incisive spell of fast bowling that fetched him three wickets and left England reeling at 72 for five in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day of the first Test here Sunday.
England, resuming at 5/0 and looking to consolidate their huge first innings lead of 188, were stunned by Ishant's (3-15) onslaught. Praveen Kumar, who took five wickets in the England first innings of 474, dismissed Alastair Cook caught behind and Harbhajan Singh took out a well set England skipper Andrew Strauss (32) lbw. Both Praveen and Harbhajan bowled tight spells and kept the pressure on England.
The hosts now lead by 260 runs with the last recognised pair of Eoin Morgan (5) and Matt Prior (5) staying put against the rejuvenated World No.1 side.
Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who left the field midway on the first day with a hamstring strain, was still sitting it out.
Ishant, coming from a successful series in the Caribbean where he took 24 wickets, stood upto the challenge Sunday.
His first wicket of the day was of double centurion Kevin Pietersen, who was surprised with a brute snorter and fended it off awkwardly. The ball brushed his gloves and Dhoni did the rest.
Ishant dismissed Ian Bell four balls later, forcing the batsmam to edge one to Dhoni.
The two wickets lifted the morale of Ishant, who was bowling with rhythm and hitting the right length in contrast to his wayward perforamnce in the first innnings.
Jonathan Trott (22) was Ishant's next victim. The pacer bowled a fuller length delivery that brilliantly cut back to beat Trott's forward defensive push and crashed through his stumps.
England made a good start with Strauss looking in command as he struck Praveen for two fours in the first over. India slowly built on the pressure with some sharp bowling and made scoring difficult for the hosts.