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England on back-foot after decent start

By The Assam Tribune

BIRMINGHAM, Aug 1 (IANS): England wasted a decent start as India bounced back in the third session and restricted the hosts to 285/9 at stumps on the opening day of the first Test match here on Wednesday.

Sam Curran (24) and James Anderson (0) were at the crease when umpires dislodged the bails for the day.

Resuming the final session from 163/3, England batters failed to utilize the batting-friendly conditions at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground and went back back one after the other.

For India, star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took four wickets while Mohammad Shami took two wickets. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma scalped one wicket each.

Earlier, electing to bat under slightly damp conditions, the England openers -- Alastair Cook (13) and Keaton Jennings (42) -- had no trouble in dealing with the India quicks as they soon raised 26 runs, before Ashwin was brought in as early as the seventh over of the innings.

The off-spinner immediately delivered with the wicket of Cook, even as Jennings survived a dropped chance and a few inside-edges.A

Cook's departure brought in skipper Joe Root, who together with Jennings started the repair work and forged a 57-run second wicket stand and ensured there were no more hiccups in the opening session.

The tea session saw India pacer Mohammad Shami taking Jennings' (42) wicket in his very first over.

Jennings, who did all the hard work facing 98 balls, fell while defending Shami's short-pitched ball which dislodged his off bail.

Shami immediately jolted the hosts again trapping new man Dawid Malan (8) plumb in front to reduce them to 112/3 in no time.

Thereafter, Root, who in the meantime got past 6,000 Test runs, along with Bairstow started the repair work with caution.

Together the right-handers forged an unbeaten 51-run stand for the fourth wicket and guided England safely to the tea break at 163/3.

The final session is all about the Indian bowlers, especially Ashwin. The experienced spinner bowled some difficult lines to the England batters which resulted in the quick wickets.

Root (80) and Jonny Bairstow (70), however, put some fight but some brilliant fielding and bowling from Virat Kohli and Umesh Yadav, respectively, saw the departure of both batsmen.

After that, there was no looking back for the India bowlers as they kept on taking wickets at regular intervals.

Middle-order batsmen Jos Buttler (0) and Ben Stokes (21) also failed to step up to the occasion and was dismissed early. The duo was dismissed by Ashwin.

Continuing his mayhem, Ashwin kept the pressure on with Ishant and they dismissed Stuart Broad (1) and Adil Rashid (13) cheaply. But the last wicket -- Anderson and Curran -- somehow managed to survive the day without losing their wickets.


England 1st Innings 285-9

Alastair Cook b Ashwin 13

Keaton Jennings b Shami 42

Joe Root run out (Kohli) 80

Dawid Malan lbw b Shami 8

Jonny Bairstow (wk) b Umesh 70

Ben Stokes c & b Ashwin 21

Jos Buttler lbw b Ashwin 0

Sam Curran batting 24

Adil Rashid lbw b Ishant 13

Stuart Broad lbw b Ashwin 1

James Anderson batting 0

Extras 13 (b 9, lb 4)

Total 285 (9 wkts, 88 Ov).

Fall of Wickets: 26-1 (Alastair Cook, 8.5), 98-2 (Keaton Jennings, 35.1), 112-3 (Dawid Malan, 39.3), 216-4 (Joe Root, 62.3), 223-5 (Jonny Bairstow, 65.6), 224-6 (Jos Buttler, 66.4), 243-7 (Ben Stokes, 74.1), 278-8 (Adil Rashid, 83.1), 283-9 (Stuart Broad, 84.2).


Umesh Yadav 17-2-56-1

Ishant Sharma 17-1-46-1

Ravichandran Ashwin 25-7-60-4

Mohammed Shami 19-2-64-2

Hardik Pandya 10-1-46-0

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