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Pujara hits 132 to keep momentum with India in 4th test

Pujara hits 132 to keep momentum with India in 4th test

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) – Cheteshwar Pujara struck a crucial century to keep the momentum with India in the fourth test against England after a burst of four wickets in 16 balls from Moeen Ali threatened to give the hosts the edge on day two.

Finding support from tailenders Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, Pujara lifted the Indians from trouble at 195-8 by reaching his 15th test century, and ended unbeaten on 132 in a total of 273 all out.

That gave India a lead of 27 runs, and England openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings negotiated four tricky overs before stumps.

England’s Jonny Bairstow, left shakes hands with India’s Cheteshwar Pujara at the end of the Indian 1st innings, Pujara made 132 not out, during play on the second day of the 4th cricket test match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. England and India are playing a 5 test series. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

England was 6-0, trailing by 21 runs, and a potentially series-defining match was finely balanced heading into the weekend.

England leads the five-match series 2-1 after winning the first two tests.

Ali briefly gave England the initiative for the first time in the test by taking four wickets in an inspired spell either side of the tea interval, including two in two balls to remove Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami. That plunged India from 181-4 to 195-8.

In snaffling Ishant Sharma, Ali got his five-wicket haul and had final figures of 5-63 off 16 overs.

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India's Cheteshwar Pujara walks off the pitch and acknowledges the crowd at the end if the Indian 1st innings during play on the second day of the 4th cricket test match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. England and India are playing a 5 test series. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

India’s Cheteshwar Pujara walks off the pitch and acknowledges the crowd at the end if the Indian 1st innings during play on the second day of the 4th cricket test match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. England and India are playing a 5 test series. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

India's Cheteshwar Pujara, left goes to congratulate India's Virat Kohli who passes 6000 test match runs scored during play on the second day of the 4th cricket test match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. England and India are playing a 5 test series. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

India’s Cheteshwar Pujara, left goes to congratulate India’s Virat Kohli who passes 6000 test match runs scored during play on the second day of the 4th cricket test match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. England and India are playing a 5 test series. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

England's Sam Curran reacts after bowling to India's Virat Kohli during play on the second day of the 4th cricket test match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. England and India are playing a 5 test series. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

England’s Sam Curran reacts after bowling to India’s Virat Kohli during play on the second day of the 4th cricket test match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. England and India are playing a 5 test series. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

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