Ali ton gives Eng­land open­ing day hon­ours

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

CHEN­NAI:

Joe Root urged cen­tu­rion Moeen Ali and the rest of the Eng­land bats­men to put India un­der pres­sure yesterday af­ter the vis­i­tors made a solid start in the fifth and fi­nal Test in Chen­nai.

The tourists were 284 for four at stumps with Ali (120) and Ben Stokes (five) at the crease af­ter they elected to bat first at Chen­nai’s MA Chi­dambaram Sta­dium.

Ali mounted cru­cial part­ner­ships with Root (88) and Jonny Bairstow (49) to re­vive the Eng­land in­nings af­ter the vis­i­tors lost their open­ers in the first hour of play.

Ali’s 146-run third-wicket stand with Root re­mained the high­light of the in­nings as Eng­land, who have al­ready lost the se­ries 3-0, search for a con­so­la­tion win.

“It would be re­ally nice to go home with a win un­der our belt and we have set it up nicely to­day, it’s (now) about to­mor­row go­ing on and tak­ing it for­ward,” Root told re­porters on Fri­day.

“And hope­fully Moeen can carry on how he has played to­day, Stokesy can get in and play one of his mouth-wa­ter­ing in­nings he is ca­pa­ble of do­ing,” said Root.

Ali, who was pro­moted to num­ber four fol­low­ing a re­jig in Eng­land’s bat­ting or­der in the Mohali Test, ab­sorbed the pres­sure af­ter Root’s dis­missal to pi­lot the in­nings.

“That added re­spon­si­bil­ity of bat­ting higher up in the bat­ting or­der he has taken re­ally well on this tour and proved it with two bril­liant hun­dreds,” said Root. Root was also re­spon­si­ble for the re­build­ing act af­ter the the fall of Keaton Jen­nings (1) and skip­per Alas­tair Cook (10) but he missed out on what would have been his sec­ond ton of the se­ries.

ROOT’S ‘CHILD­ISH’ RE­AC­TION

The English­man was given caught be­hind off Ravin­dra Jadeja by the on-field um­pire but India suc­cess­fully re­viewed the de­ci­sion af­ter a dis­tur­bance in the snicko sug­gested the ball had grazed the bat be­fore go­ing into the keeper’s glove.

Root did not seem happy with the call as he de­ject­edly walked back to the pavil­ion but later termed his re­ac­tion as “child­ish”. “I was con­vinced I didn’t hit it. Ob­vi­ously the tech­nol­ogy sug­gests oth­er­wise... you prob­a­bly just have to take it on the chin - I must have got a fine one on it,” said Root, who was seen prac­tis­ing on a road in­side the sta­dium on Thurs­day.

Ali, who was dropped on nought at mid-wicket, showed grit dur­ing his con­trolled knock as he car­ried on the good work with Bairstow. — AFP

CHEN­NAI: Eng­land’s Moeen Ali plays a shot dur­ing the first day of the fifth cricket test match against India in Chen­nai, India, yesterday. — AP

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