Curran’s triple blows reduce India to 76/3 at lunch

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Birmingham, Aug 2 (IANS) India squandered a watchful start to slip to 76/3 at lunch on the second day of the opening Test at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground here on Thursday.

At the break, skipper Virat Kohli (9) and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (8) went undefeated after surviving a few anxious moments.

India got off to a near perfect start with the opening duo of Murali Vijay (20) and Shikhar Dhawan (26) putting on a 50-run stand — the first fifty-plus opening stand for India in England after 18 innings.

But the introduction of left-arm quick Sam Curran turned the tide in England’s favour. Coming in as the first change, Curran’s third over cost the wickets of Vijay and No.3 Lokesh Rahul (4) in a matter of just three balls.

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The 20-year-old trapped Vijay in front with a ball that pitched around middle and darted in late but only got his victim after the hosts decided to review the umpire’s call.

One ball later, Curran packed back Rahul, who could only blame himself for playing a rash shot that shattered his stumps.

Thereafter, the India skipper walked in and together with Dhawan, did well to rebuild the innings but Curran, playing only his second Test, got the southpaw nicked one to Dawid Malan at second slip.

Curran’s three-wicket burst in eight balls reduced India to 59/3 in no time even as Rahane joined his captain to sneak in a few singles before heading for the break.

Earlier, resuming the day at 285/9, England survived just 10 balls and managed to add another couple of runs to their first innings total before pacer Mohammed Shami got Curran (24) caught behind by Dinesh Karthik.

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Brief Scores: England 287 (Joe Root 80, Jonny Bairstow 70, Keaton Jennings 42; Ravichandran Ashwin 4/62, Mohammed Shami 3/64) vs India 76/3 (Shikhar Dhawan 26, Murali Vijay 20, Sam Curran 3/23).

–IANS

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