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Birthday boy Buttler puts England in command of India finale

Sunday, September 09, 2018

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Jos Buttler celebrated his 28th birthday with an innings of 89 that left England on top in the fifth Test against India at the Oval yesterday.

England, who had already won this five-match series at 3-1 up, started the second day in danger of being dismissed for under 200 at 198 for seven.

Yet when Buttler was last man out they had made a total of 332.

At stumps, India were struggling at 174 for six— a deficit of 158 runs — with captain and star batsman Virat Kohli falling to Ben Stokes for 49.

Test debutant Hanuma Vihari was 25 not out and Ravindra Jadeja unbeaten on eight.

England spearhead James Anderson's figures of two for 20 in 11 overs left him just two shy of Australia great Glenn McGrath's record of 563 Test wickets -- the most taken by any fast bowler.

Buttler and Stuart Broad (38) frustrated India with a ninth-wicket stand of 98 as, yet again this series, England bounced back after a top-order collapse.

This was the fourth time in five innings that Buttler, recalled to Test duty earlier this season by new national selector Ed Smith, had been England's top scorer.