Root’s half ton takes England to 163/3 at tea

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Birmingham, Aug 1 (IANS) Skipper Joe Root’s half century helped England recover from India’s twin blows in the post-lunch session to reach 163/3 at tea on the opening day of the first Test at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground here on Wednesday.

At the break, Root was unbeaten on 65 with stumper Jonny Bairstow giving him company with 27 even as the Indian bowlers, barring Umesh Yadav, kept it tight throughout the second session.

Resuming the session at 83/1, Root and opener Keaton Jennings (42) started cautiously before Mohammed Shami struck in his very first over in the session with the wicket of the southpaw.

Jennings, who did all the hard work facing 98 balls, fell while defending Shami’s short-pitched ball which dislodged his off bail.

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Shami immediately jolted the hosts again trapping new man Dawid Malan (8) plumb in front to reduce them to 112/3 in no time.

Thereafter, Root, who in the mean time got past 6,000 Test runs, along with Bairstow started the repair work with caution.

Together the right-handers forged an unbeaten 51-run stand for the fourth wicket and guided England safely to the tea break at 163/3.

Earlier, after winning the toss and electing to bat, the England openers — Alastair Cook (13) and Jennings — had no trouble in dealing with the India quicks as they quickly raised 26 runs, before off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin broke the partnership in the ninth over of the innings.

Ashwin cleaned up the former English skipper Cook with a beauty for just 13 runs before Root and Jennings joined forced to take the home team to 83/1 at lunch.

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Brief Scores: England 163/3 (Joe Root 65 not out, Keaton Jennings 42, Jonny Biarstow 27 not out, Mohammed Shami 2/27, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/13) vs India.

–IANS

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