Birmingham, Aug 10 (PTI): England were firmly on top after India were all out for 224 runs in the first innings shortly after tea on the first day of the third cricket Test at Edgbaston here Wednesday. In reply England were 84 for no loss at stumps. England captain Andrew Strauss (52) and Alastair Cook (27) played out 25 overs without any trouble.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni top scored with 77 while Gautam Gambhir made 38. England fast bowlers Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan picked up four wickets each.
India were struggling at 205 for eight at tea despite Mahendra Singh Dhoni�s counter-attacking unbeaten half-century on the opening day of the third Test against England, here today.
The India skipper finally produced an innings of substance as he helped India cross the 200-mark after being reduced to 111 for seven at one stage, with Tim Bresnan (four for 62) and Stuart Broad (three for 47) doing the maximum damage. Dhoni had smashed 61 off 72 balls and put on 84 runs for the eighth wicket with Praveen Kumar (26) after rival skipper Andrew Strauss put the visitors in.
The visitors, 75 for four at lunch, lost the wickets of Suresh Raina (2), VVS Laxman (30) and Amit Mishra (4) in no time on resumption, before Dhoni and Kumar did the recovery work.
Dhoni took 16 balls to get off the mark � through a pre-determined push to covers off Bresnan � but then took the attack to the opposition camp on an increasingly slow Edgbaston pitch. He straight drove and pulled James Anderson for fours and then played Stuart Broad off the backfoot before pulling him for a four.
In his groove, Dhoni smote Anderson over mid-on for six and then lifted Tim Bresnan over midwicket for another maximum.
He reached his half century when he off-drove Graeme Swann, introduced into the attack in the 47th over, having faced 63 balls. He hit seven fours and two sixes.
Kumar, at the other end, was an ideal foil to his skipper. He too hit some effective boundaries, showing no respect to Swann, whom he also lofted for a six. England finally made a breakthrough when Bresnan dug in a short delivery and a reflex pull from Kumar only resulted in an edge to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
India (first innings):
Gautam Gambhir b Bresnan 38, Virender Sehwag c Prior b Broad 0, Rahul Dravid b Bresnan 22, Sachin Tendulkar c Anderson b Broad 1, V.V.S. Laxman c Broad b Bresnan 30, Suresh Raina b Anderson 4, Mahendra Dhoni c Strauss b Broad 77, Amit Mishra c Prior b Broad 4, Praveen Kumar c Prior b Bresnan 26, Ishant Sharma c Cook b Anderson 4, S Sreesanth not out 0,Extras: (b 4, lb 14) 18, Total: (all out in 62.2 overs) 224; Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Sehwag, 1.1 overs), 2-59 (Gambhir, 19.5), 3-60 (Tendulkar, 22.1), 4-75 (Dravid, 26.2), 5-92 (Raina, 33.1), 6-100 (Laxman, 34.4), 7-111 (Mishra, 39.3), 8-195 (Kumar, 53.3), 9-224 (Dhoni, 61.2), 10-224 (Sharma, 62.2); Bowling: James Anderson 21.2 3 69 2, Stuart Broad 17 6 53 4, Tim Bresnan 20 4 62 4, Graeme Swann 4 0 22 0
England first innings:
Andrew Strauss not out 52, Alastair Cook not out 27, Extras: (lb 5) 5, Total: (for no loss in 25 overs) 84; Bowling: Praveen Kumar 9 4 27 0, S. Sreesanth 5 2 21 0, Ishant Sharma 7 2 16 0, Amit Mishra 3 0 13 0, Suresh Raina 1 0 2 0