4th Test: Moeen, Sam carry England to 139/6 at tea

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Southampton, Aug 30 (IANS) Indian pacers continued their domination, taking two more wickets in the second session to reduce England to 139-6 at tea on the opening day of the fourth Test at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground here on Thursday.

Moeen Ali (30 batting) and Sam Curran 27 (batting) stabilised the innings with a 53-run unbeaten seventh wicket stand after pacer Mohammed Shami joined the party by removing Ben Stokes (23) and Jos Buttler (21) in short succession.

Resuming the post-lunch session at 57/4, Stokes and Buttler played out the initial few overs cautiously before Buttler started opening up and that brought his downfall, caught by Virat Kohli off Shami.

Shami struck again by trapping Stokes in front when the southpaw started to flourish with back-to-back boundaries.

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Reduced to 86/6, the left-handed pair of Moeen and Sam steered the ship to safety, as they played the Indian pacers with extreme caution and did not allow premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to dominate them.

Earlier, electing to bat after winning the toss on a pitch assisting the seamers, the hosts were reduced to 57/4, thanks to a fiery spell of pace bowling by the Indians led by Jasprit Bumrah (2/35) and comprising Ishant Sharma (1/11) and Hardik Pandya (1/37).

England’s top order failed to click once again with the openers Keaton Jennings out for a duck while Alastair Cook, was packed back after scoring a 55-ball 17. Skipper Joe Root (4) and Jonny Bairstow (6) also failed to get going and were soon back in the hut.

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Brief Scores: England 139/6 (Moeen Ali 30 batting, Sam Curran 27; Jasprit Bumrah 2/35, Mohammed Shami 2/43) vs India.

–IANS

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