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India inch closer to win despite Root defiance

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Cricket - India v England - Third Test cricket match - Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, India - 29/11/16. India's Jayant Yadav (2nd L) celebrates with his teammates after dismissing England's Jos Buttler. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Cricket - India v England - Third Test cricket match - Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, India - 29/11/16. India's Jayant Yadav (2nd L) celebrates with his teammates after dismissing England's Jos Buttler. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

By Amlan Chakraborty

MOHALI, India (Reuters) - Joe Root fell after a defiant 78 as India claimed three wickets on the fourth morning to inch closer to a comprehensive victory in the third test against England on Tuesday.

Haseeb Hameed batted through pain to remain unbeaten on 13 at lunch, with Chris Woakes on one at the other end as England slumped to 156 for seven, a lead of 22, at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.

Resuming on 78-4, England's immediate task was to erase the 56-run deficit and make India bat again but the tourists were in for some early setbacks.

Gareth Batty had gone wicketless in India's first inning and he failed to bother the scorers as nightwatchman, trapped leg-before by Ravindra Jadeja in the second over of the day.

Jos Buttler walked in with his team reeling on 78-5 and clobbered Jadeja over his head for a six and smacked a boundary to bring up England's 100.

The graveness of the situation demanded restraint but Buttler charged at Jayant Yadav trying to go over mid-on but the off-spinner kept it short for Jadeja to take a tumbling catch at mid-wicket.

Buttler immediately hung his head in shame and left after a run-a-ball 18.

Root survived two leg-before appeals in one Jadeja over but otherwise looked rock solid as he brought up his 25th test fifty with an elegant boundary before raising the bat in muted celebration.

Forced into the opener's role following Hameed's finger injury, Root waged a grim battle during his 179-ball stay before England's batting mainstay fell to a rather soft dismissal.

Root pushed at a Jadeja delivery and Ajinkya Rahane took a sharp, one-handed catch at slip to end the Englishman's 251-minute vigil.

Hameed, batting lower down the order, has faced 88 balls, defying the Indian bowlers with some solid defending.

(Editing by John O'Brien)


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