Moeen Ali, Joe Root Lift England, Indian Bowlers Struggle
Moeen Ali's unbeaten ton and Joe Root's 88 help England Cricket notch 284/4 against Indian Cricket Team on Day 1 of fifth Test in Chennai.
Moeen Ali's unbeaten century and Joe Root's crucial 88 propelled England to 284 for four on the first day of the fifth and final Test against India in Chennai on Friday.
Indian bowlers did not look menacing enough as England slowly but surely inched towards a big total. At stumps, Ali was batting on 120 and Ben Stokes was on five. Ravindra Jadeja was India's best bowler with three wickets for 73 runs.
Having opted to bat after winning the toss, the visitors lost skipper Alastair Cook (10) and Keaton Jennings (1) early, and recovered due to a 146-run third-wicket partnership between Root and Moeen.
Root looked to be in good touch as he played some effective shots and, in the company of a solid Moeen, added 114 runs in the second session of play.
Thanks to the duo's effort, the session no doubt belonged to England, though they lost Root at a crucial juncture of play.
After a rather slow start, England also improved their scoring rate with Root and Moeen at the helm of affairs.
Root was dismissed at 88, though the batsman was not convinced with the decision of the TV umpire after India asked for the Decision Review System.
Later, Moeen Ali completed his fifth Test century and second of the series as Indian bowlers hardly posed any problem. It was also his fourth century of the year.
During his 222-ball unbeaten innings, Ali hit 12 fours and looked steady throughout.
Earlier, India struck twice as England endured a testing first session to reach 68 for two at lunch.
Seeking to restore some pride after being subjected to three successive crushing defeats at the hands of the hosts, England lost the wickets of Cook and Jennings with just 21 runs on the board.
Striking the early blows at the M A Chidambaram Stadium -- made battle-ready owing to some outstanding work by the groundstaff, including using burning coal to dry the pitch --were comeback man Ishant Sharma and Jadeja, who was getting purchase from the surface.
Jennings, who signalled his arrival in the Test arena with a century and golden duck in his maiden game in Mumbai last week, was the first casualty as he he edged Sharma to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
The visitors were seven for one and it soon became 21 for two when Jadeja, the first slow bowler to be introduced into the attack, induced an edge from Cook for skipper Virat Kohli to take a low catch at first slip.
Jennings, while attempting to drive an over-pitched delivery, got a thick edge as India reaped the reward for maintaining discipline early on.
Cook, who got to the 11000-run landmark, once again fell to Jadeja who, in the previous over, created doubts in the beleaguered English skipper's minds with some that turned and some that did not.
The left-arm spinner then pushed one wide outside off and got a thick edge from the batsman whose horror tour against Jadeja continued.
India are eyeing their biggest-ever Test series victory against England and stretch an unbeaten run to a record 18 matches.
(With inputs from PTI)