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Moeen century lifts England to 284/4

By The Assam Tribune

CHENNAI, Dec 16: All-rounder Moeen Ali lifted England�s sagging spirit by compiling a well-crafted century as the visitors made a solid start against India in the fifth and final Test here today.

Moeen�s 120-run knock was the highlight of the opening day�s play as England, having already conceded the five-match series following three successive defeats, recovered to reach 284 for four at stumps after losing two wickets quickly in the first session.

Ben Stokes (5) was the other unbeaten batsman at the crease after England won the toss and elected to bat.

This was Moeen�s fifth Test hundred and second of the series, the first coming in the opener at Rajkot.

During his stay in the middle, Moeen shared a 146-run partnership for the third wicket with Joe Root, who struck a fluent 88, and added another 86 for the fourth wicket with Jonny Bairstow, who missed out on a half century by a run.

On a pitch that provided only slow turn, Ravindra Jadeja was India�s best bowler of the day with figures of 3/73, and the fast bowlers were rendered ineffective as there was no reverse swing on offer.

Moeen was scratchy to start with, and even got a life when he flicked Jadeja uppishly through the hands of KL Rahul, who mistimed his jump at midwicket. He was also, on quite a few occasions, beaten by Ravichandran Ashwin, who had a rare wicket-less outing.

As the pitch eased up, Moeen started to get into the groove and with Root looking in complete control at the other end, England enjoyed a rare period of dominance after being subjected to three crushing defeats.

Moeen, who got to the century with a single towards point, decorated his innings with 12 boundaries.

Root, who looked in terrific touch till he was dismissed by Jadeja, found the fence 10 times while Bairstow smashed three sixes, including one each of Ashwin and Jadeja, during his 49 off 90 balls.

Root, who notched up his 11th fifty plus score against India in as many matches and also tied Virender Sehwag for most fifty plus scores in a year (13), was distraught with his dismissal.

Attempting to sweep the left-arm spinner from outside off stump, Root got a thin inside-edge � according to Real-Time Snickometer � after India reviewed the on-field not-out decision � through to the wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Joining hands in the 13th over, Root and Moeen powered England to 182 for three at tea.

Earlier, having opted to bat after winning the toss, the visitors lost skipper Alastair Cook (10) and Keaton Jennings (1) early, and recovered due to the partnership between Root and Moeen.

Root looked to be in good touch as he played some effective shots and, in the company of a solid Moeen, added 114 runs in the second session of play.

Thanks to the duo�s effort, the session post lunch belonged to England, though they lost Root at a crucial juncture of play.

After a rather slow start, England also improved their scoring rate with Root and Moeen at the helm of affairs.

Bairstow looked classy in the few balls he played before tea and while Root was caught behind after review, Bairstow survived as a DRS decision went in his favour just before tea.

The wicketkeeper then got into the act and smashed three sixes to signal his intention. However, he too got out to Jadeja while going for a drive.

Root was out to Jadeja while going for a sweep and so thin was the edge that the batsman may not have felt it.

This was after England endured a testing first session to reach 68 for two at lunch.

At the lunch break, Root was unbeaten on 44, with Moeen giving the current England batting mainstay company on 7.

Seeking to restore some pride after being subjected to three successive crushing defeats at the hands of the hosts, England lost the wickets of Cook and Jennings with just 21 runs on the board.

Striking the early blows at the MA Chidambaram Stadium � made battle-ready owing to some outstanding work by the groundstaff, including using burning coal to dry the pitch � were comeback man Ishant Sharma and Jadeja, who was getting purchase from the surface. � PTI

SCORECARD

England 1st innings:

Cook c Kohli b Jadeja 10

Jennings c Patel b Sharma 1

Root c Patel b Jadeja 88

Ali not out 120

Bairstow not out 10

Bairstow c Rahul b Jadeja 49

Stokes not out 5

Extras: (W-1, LB 1, B-4, Penalty 5) 11

Total: (4 wickets, 90 overs) 284

Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-21, 3-167, 4-253

Bowling:

Umesh 12-1-44-0

Ishant 12-5-25-1

Jadeja 28-3-73-3

Ashwin 24-1-76-0

Mishra 13-1-52-0

Nair 1-0-4-0

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Moeen century lifts England to 284/4

CHENNAI, Dec 16: All-rounder Moeen Ali lifted England�s sagging spirit by compiling a well-crafted century as the visitors made a solid start against India in the fifth and final Test here today.

Moeen�s 120-run knock was the highlight of the opening day�s play as England, having already conceded the five-match series following three successive defeats, recovered to reach 284 for four at stumps after losing two wickets quickly in the first session.

Ben Stokes (5) was the other unbeaten batsman at the crease after England won the toss and elected to bat.

This was Moeen�s fifth Test hundred and second of the series, the first coming in the opener at Rajkot.

During his stay in the middle, Moeen shared a 146-run partnership for the third wicket with Joe Root, who struck a fluent 88, and added another 86 for the fourth wicket with Jonny Bairstow, who missed out on a half century by a run.

On a pitch that provided only slow turn, Ravindra Jadeja was India�s best bowler of the day with figures of 3/73, and the fast bowlers were rendered ineffective as there was no reverse swing on offer.

Moeen was scratchy to start with, and even got a life when he flicked Jadeja uppishly through the hands of KL Rahul, who mistimed his jump at midwicket. He was also, on quite a few occasions, beaten by Ravichandran Ashwin, who had a rare wicket-less outing.

As the pitch eased up, Moeen started to get into the groove and with Root looking in complete control at the other end, England enjoyed a rare period of dominance after being subjected to three crushing defeats.

Moeen, who got to the century with a single towards point, decorated his innings with 12 boundaries.

Root, who looked in terrific touch till he was dismissed by Jadeja, found the fence 10 times while Bairstow smashed three sixes, including one each of Ashwin and Jadeja, during his 49 off 90 balls.

Root, who notched up his 11th fifty plus score against India in as many matches and also tied Virender Sehwag for most fifty plus scores in a year (13), was distraught with his dismissal.

Attempting to sweep the left-arm spinner from outside off stump, Root got a thin inside-edge � according to Real-Time Snickometer � after India reviewed the on-field not-out decision � through to the wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Joining hands in the 13th over, Root and Moeen powered England to 182 for three at tea.

Earlier, having opted to bat after winning the toss, the visitors lost skipper Alastair Cook (10) and Keaton Jennings (1) early, and recovered due to the partnership between Root and Moeen.

Root looked to be in good touch as he played some effective shots and, in the company of a solid Moeen, added 114 runs in the second session of play.

Thanks to the duo�s effort, the session post lunch belonged to England, though they lost Root at a crucial juncture of play.

After a rather slow start, England also improved their scoring rate with Root and Moeen at the helm of affairs.

Bairstow looked classy in the few balls he played before tea and while Root was caught behind after review, Bairstow survived as a DRS decision went in his favour just before tea.

The wicketkeeper then got into the act and smashed three sixes to signal his intention. However, he too got out to Jadeja while going for a drive.

Root was out to Jadeja while going for a sweep and so thin was the edge that the batsman may not have felt it.

This was after England endured a testing first session to reach 68 for two at lunch.

At the lunch break, Root was unbeaten on 44, with Moeen giving the current England batting mainstay company on 7.

Seeking to restore some pride after being subjected to three successive crushing defeats at the hands of the hosts, England lost the wickets of Cook and Jennings with just 21 runs on the board.

Striking the early blows at the MA Chidambaram Stadium � made battle-ready owing to some outstanding work by the groundstaff, including using burning coal to dry the pitch � were comeback man Ishant Sharma and Jadeja, who was getting purchase from the surface. � PTI

SCORECARD

England 1st innings:

Cook c Kohli b Jadeja 10

Jennings c Patel b Sharma 1

Root c Patel b Jadeja 88

Ali not out 120

Bairstow not out 10

Bairstow c Rahul b Jadeja 49

Stokes not out 5

Extras: (W-1, LB 1, B-4, Penalty 5) 11

Total: (4 wickets, 90 overs) 284

Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-21, 3-167, 4-253

Bowling:

Umesh 12-1-44-0

Ishant 12-5-25-1

Jadeja 28-3-73-3

Ashwin 24-1-76-0

Mishra 13-1-52-0

Nair 1-0-4-0

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