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08-Sep-2018 06:00:00 GMT
Eng v Ind, 5th Test, The Oval, day 1

India bounce back after Cook, Ali fifties

London: The Indian pacers once again delivered as the visitors took Day 1 honours in the fifth and final Test at The Oval, London.

Cook and Jennings negotiated the first hour as they went onto build the highest opening stand for England in this series. But after facing 75 balls for his 23 runs, Jennings edged one to leg-slip and was caught by KL Rahul off Jadeja's bowling.

With Cook's departure, he is expected to be there on the flight for the winter tour of Sri Lanka. Moeen Ali and Cook saw England through the remaining session as they went to Lunch with 68-1.

After lunch, Cook and Moeen showed a lot of defiance to India's disciplined bowling. Mohammed Shami's nine over spell was one of the best he delivered on the first day of a Test. Though he went wicket-less, he troubled both the left-handers and both of them were even dropped in the slip cordon.

In between, Cook went onto become only the second English player to score a fifty or more in his first and last Test. India's stiff bowling yielded only 55 runs for the hosts in the second session as they went to tea at only 123-1.

Brief scores:
England 198 for 7 (Cook 71, Moeen 50, Ishant 3-28) v India

Immediately after tea, the Indian bowlers' consistent lines and discipline brought them rich rewards as they bounced back with three back-to-back wickets. First Cook dragged one back onto his stumps and Jasprit Bumrah didn't even celebrate the wicket. His nice gesture ushered another one in the same over as he trapped the England Captain, Joe Root for his first duck in fourteen innings. Then, England's regular keeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow edged one to Pant for his third duck in four innings. Suddenly, England lost 3 wickets for 2 runs and were 134-4.

Gritty Moeen Ali and Stokes halted the collapse for sometime before Jadeja trapped Stokes LBW. Soon after, after a well-made 50, Ali finally fell to Ishant.

England's new fine, Sam Curran went out for nought in the same over. Again, from 171-4, England reached 181-7. It looked like this Indian attack will once again bowl out the hosts inside a day. But Buttler's fortunes made sure that England went unscathed to Stumps at 198-7.

India will be jubilated with their performance on Day 1 and will look to remove the England tail as early as possible. With the best batting conditions of the series expected for Day 2 and Day 3, their batsmen have an opportunity to regain some lost pride.

Earlier, it all started with Virat Kohli's fifth consecutive cursed call at the toss as Root opted to bat on an anticipated flat Oval pitch. India handed a debut to Hanuma Vihari in place of all-rounder Hardik Pandya in order to end their batting miseries. England unchanged.

England have already won the five-match series after taking an unassailable 3-1 lead.


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