Evening Express

England closing in on victory despite Rahul resistance

England homed in on a fifth-Test victory over India thanks to two wickets in two overs on the final day at The Oval, leaving the tourists 167 for five at lunch.

Lokesh Rahul cut loose to notch his fifth Test century – his fourth outside India – to reach an unbeaten 108 at the break.

Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane built a 118 partnership to frustrate England’s bowlers on a fairly flat morning in Vauxhall.

But just when England feared meandering to the day’s first interval without a breakthrough, two quick wickets changed the morning’s complexion.

With India’s victory target of 464 appearing comfortably out of reach, the tourists were batting for a draw, while England were battling to wrap up a 4-1 series win.

Rahane miscued a ball from Moeen Ali to clip to Keaton Jennings, to depart for 37.

And new man Hanuma Virahi lasted just six balls, trudging back to the pavilion without scoring as Ben Stokes drew him into an edge behind to Jonny Bairstow.