England were staring down the barrel at 142 for seven at lunch on the fifth and final day of the second Test against India in Visakhapatnam on Monday.
Chasing an unlikely 405 for victory, wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow (23) and Zafar Ansari (0) were battling for survival after Indian bowlers claimed five wickets in the morning session, adding only 55 runs in about 33 overs.
The visitors, who resumed the day on 87 for two, are 263 runs behind their victory target as India need three more wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
The visitors had their task cut out to salvage a draw on the final day, but the quick fall of wickets mean that they are very unlikely to win this Test.
The first batsmen to fall was Ben Duckett, on a duck. The new batsmen in, after captain Alastair Cook was dismissed in the last over of the previous day, wasn't able to make any contribution as Ravichandran Ashwin had him caught behind.
Moeen Ali came in ahead of Ben Stokes, but could only add two runs and he was caught by Virat Kohli off Ravindra Jadeja's bowling. earlier in the session, Kohli had dropped Root but he latched on this to leave England at 101 for 4.
Stokes, who scored a century in the first Test at Rajkot, came in next. Stokes and the incumbent Joe Root were England's best chance of fighting it out. However, Stokes' innings was cut short by debutant Jayant Yadav who bowled a peach of a delivery to disturb his stumps on 6.
With Stokes gone and score on 115 with half the team back in the dressing room, the onus was on Root to hold up an end. However, the No 3's 107-ball vigil came to an end on 25 as Mohammed Shami trapped him with the new ball. Root looked ready to walk but his partner on the other ends, Jonny Bairstow persuaded him to review, which was turned down.
Next to depart was Rashid Ali who played a irresponsible shot attempting to upper cut off Shami, and was caught behind by Saha leaving England at a painful 129 for 7, on the verge of a loss.
At the end of the first session, England are reeling with only three wickets in hand and will need something very special to not lose this Test.
First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 11:59 IST