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India enjoy opening day honours against England


By AFP
Published : 07 Mar 2024 09:25 PM
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Kuldeep Yadav took five wickets to bundle out England for 218, with India's batsmen starting strongly on a dominant opening day for the hosts in the fifth Test on Thursday.

Yadav returned figures of 5-72 and, along with fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who took four wickets in his landmark 100th Test, bowled out the tourists in just 57.4 overs at the picturesque Dharamsala stadium. India reached 135-1 at stumps, still trailing England by 83 runs. Skipper Rohit Sharma, on 52, and Shubman Gill, on 26, were batting at the close of play after in-form Yashasvi Jaiswal fell for 57.

The left-handed Jaiswal looked assured until his departure as he smashed spinner Shoaib Bashir for three sixes in an over, and consolidated his position at the top of the series batting with 712 runs.

Veteran seamer James Anderson, 41, is just two wickets shy of becoming the third bowler to take 700 Test wickets, after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and the late Australian great Shane Warne (708). England elected to bat first in their bid for a consolation win and Zak Crawley started strongly with his 79 before the batting collapsed from 175-3.

Top batsmen Jonny Bairstow (29), in his 100th Test, Joe Root (26) and skipper Ben Stokes -- out for a duck -- went back on the same team score of 175.

England lost five wickets for eight runs in seven overs.

Crawley, who raised his fourth half-century of the series in the first session, survived a few reprieves before being bowled by Yadav off a delivery that turned in sharply to hit the stumps.

Bairstow, who received his 100th cap from Root with his family by his side in the morning, joined the former captain at the crease and looked solid as he smashed Yadav for two sixes.

He went past 6,000 Test runs before Yadav got him caught behind off a googly that took the edge into the wicketkeeper's gloves. He made 29.

Ravindra Jadeja struck four balls later to trap Root lbw for 26.

Stokes was also given out lbw off Yadav for nought.

In the first session, the openers had taken time to settle in, but Crawley soon found his groove, hitting 11 fours and a six. He put on 64 runs with Ben Duckett, who made 27.

Yadav struck in his first over as Duckett's slog got a leading edge, with Gill running backwards to take a diving catch.

India lost the opening Test but hit back to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.