Cricket world stunned after England on brink of record feat

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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England stars Joe Root (pictured left) and Jonny Bairstow (pictured right) leave Headingley.
England stars Joe Root (pictured left) and Jonny Bairstow (pictured right) have continued their remarkable form to steer their nation into a winning position on Day 5 against India. (Getty Images

England are on the brink of yet another record run chase after being set 378 in the second innings against India.

After three remarkable run chases against New Zealand last month, England are favourites to once again stun the cricket world after a breathtaking Day 4 at Headingley.

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An intrepid century stand between openers Alex Lees (57) and Zak Crawley (46) carved a huge chunk of the target, before Root (76 not out) and Bairstow (72 not out) continued their magnificent form to leave the hosts 3-259 at the end of day four.

With 119 needed and belief implausibly high after knocking off 277, 299 and 296 against New Zealand in the last month, England go into the final day as favourites.

To make matters harder for India a full house of more than 23,000 is expected to attend the final charge after Warwickshire followed the example of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire by offering free entry for the final day.

England were facing a daunting task bowling to India on 3-125 at the start of play, but England turned things around taking the remaining seven wickets for 120.

And the team was praised for continuing their aggressive and exciting approach under new coach Brendan McCullum and new captain Ben Stokes.

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While England's fearless approach to batting continues to astound, they would have been staring at an even bigger challenge had it not been for an excellent effort with ball in hand. India held all the cards on 3-125 at the start of play, but lost their remaining seven wickets for 120.

Cheteshwar Pujara carved Stuart Broad to slip for 66 and first-innings centurion Rishabh Pant made a mess of reverse sweeping Jack Leach on 57 as both failed to turn good starts into match-winning scores.

Stokes also did a fine job of rounding up the lower order with a barrage of short balls, taking the last three to claim four for 33 - his best figures in almost five years.

Lees then charged his third delivery of the innings and swatted Mohammed Shami for four through mid-wicket to set the tone of England's reply. He and Crawley put on 100 before the end of the 20th over - England's fastest century stand for the first wicket.

India pegged England back with that trio of wickets but Root and Bairstow rebuilt before taking the attack back to India.

with AAP

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