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Indian pacers strike back, leave England struggling


Nottingham, July 11 :

India pacers put on a fine display of seam bowling to leave England struggling at 205 for seven in the first innings at tea on the third day of the first cricket Test at the Trent Bridge here Friday.

England enjoyed a good first session with Sam Robson (59) and Gary Ballance (71). But the trio of Indian pacers Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami bowled exceptionally well as the hosts lost six wickets in the post-lunch session and were reduced to 205 for seven at tea, trailing India by 252 runs.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma

Ishant was the pick of the Indian bowlers, bagging three for 64 while Kumar and Shami got two wickets each.

Joe Root was batting on 13 and Stuart Broad at one at the tea break.

After a fruitful first session when both Robson and Ballance got their respective half-centuries and England looked comfortable at 131 for one, the visitors suffered a batting collapse losing six wickets for 68 runs.

Resuming at 43/1, Robson and Ballance scored freely on both sides of the wickets as 88 runs came up in the morning session. Indian seamers found some swing under the gloomy Nottingham sky but their wasn’t much luck for their hard work.

The pair took their unbeaten stand to 122 to add some stability to the England innings after skipper Alastair Cook departed Thursday evening. Both the batsmen had hit their maiden centuries in the series loss against Sri Lanka.

Ballance was patient enough to wait for the loose deliveries. He hit seven fours and reached his 50 by cutting the ball to the boundary.

Robson was lucky after he was dropped by Ravinder Jadeja at slip on 43. But he made the most of the opportunity after he got to his half-century by cutting debutant Stuart Binny through the covers.

India, however, turned the tide in their favour soon after the break as Ishant struck in the second over of the second session to get rid of Robson, trapped lbw. Though hot spot revealed a faint inside edge, it was a fine piece of delivery from Ishant, who got the ball to nip back to hit on Robson’s pads.

Ishant also got Ballance in a similar fashion trapped lbw and also got rid of Ian Bell (25), who was clearly undone by some extra bounce. Bell wanted to pull out of the shot at the last moment but got a big edge to wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Shami dismissed Moeen Ali (14) in a weird fashion that left England struggling at 197/5. It was an intended bouncer from Shami that didn’t rise much and Ali took his eyes off the ball and it hit his glove and lobbed to Shikhar Dhawan at slip.

Kumar’s double strikes in the 71st over – removing Matt Prior (5) and Ben Stokes, both caught behind by Dhoni – in three deliveries left England in a precarious condition.

India (first innings) 457

England (first innings, Overnight 43/1)

Alastair Cook b Shami 5
Sam Robson lbw Sharma 59
Gary Ballance lbw Sharma 71
Ian Bell c Dhoni b Sharma 25
Joe Root batting 13
Moeen Ali c Dhawan b Shami 14
Matt Prior c Dhoni b Kumar 5
Ben Stokes c Dhoni b Kumar 0
Stuart Broad batting 1
Extras (lb 3, w 1, nb 8) 12
Total (for seven wickets in 73 overs) 205

Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Cook, 3.3 overs), 2-134 (Robson, 49.3), 3-154 (Ballance, 55.3), 4-172 (Bell, 59.5), 5-197 (Ali, 69.2), 6-202 (Prior, 70.3), 7-202 (Stokes, 70.5)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar 18-7-35-2
Mohammed Shami 16-3-58-2
Ishant Sharma 19-3-64-3
Ravindra Jadeja 15-4-24-0
Stuart Binny 5-0-21-0