Eng­land fal­ter early

Fiji Sun - - Sport -

Ra­jkot: In­dian spin­ners tasted early suc­cess in­clud­ing the scalp of teenage debu­tant Haseeb Hameed on the open­ing day of the first Test against Eng­land in Raj`kot on Wed­nes­day. At lunch, Eng­land were 102-3 with Joe Root bat­ting on 35 at the Saurash­tra Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion ground, host­ing a Test for the first time. Hameed, 19, who be­came the youngest player to open the bat­ting for Eng­land on de­but, made 31 dur­ing his 98-minute stay at the crease be­fore fall­ing lbw to world num­ber one ranked spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win. Ash­win (2-35) also dis­missed Ben Duck­ett for 13 af­ter skip­per Alas­tair Cook elected to bat on what seemed a placid wicket. Hameed as well as Cook (21) ben­e­fit­ted from the largesse of In­dia’s field­ers who were guilty of drop­ping sev­eral early chances. Cook was dropped off Mo­hammed Shami off the third ball of the in­nings while Hameed got a re­prieve on 13 when Mu­rali Vi­jay grassed his catch at first slip. The Eng­land skip­per, who sur­passed Michael Ather­ton’s record of 54 Tests as Eng­land cap­tain, was ad­judged leg be­fore off left-arm spin­ner Ravin­dra Jadeja (1-26). TV re­plays showed the ball would have missed the leg stump but Cook did not re­fer to the third um­pire even though the de­ci­sion re­view sys­tem is be­ing used for the first time by In­dia in a home se­ries. Hameed showed lit­tle signs of nerves against top-ranked In­dia, twice hit­ting Shami for bound­aries in an over and driv­ing Ash­win for an el­e­gant four in the cov­ers. But he was trapped leg be­fore by Ash­win, a de­ci­sion which was up­held on re­view, just when the bats­man ap­peared to be grow­ing in con­fi­dence.

Pos­si­ble 13-man New Zealand squad to play Pak­istan: Kane Wil­liamson (cap­tain), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Tay­lor, Henry Ni­cholls, Jimmy Nee­sham, B-J Watling, Todd As­tle, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Luke Ronchi. - NZ Her­ald

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