> … as England post commanding total
CENTURY-MAKERS Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali piled on the agony for India’s bowlers yesterday as England posted the highest score by a visiting team in nearly five years on the second day of the first Test.
Stokes smashed 128 runs after Ali, who had been unbeaten on 99 overnight, made 117 as England compiled a commanding total of 537 before India’s openers responded with an unbeaten stand of 63 in the final session.
Joe Root (124) had notched up a century on the opening day to lay a solid foundation for the middle-order batsmen at Rajkot’s Saurashtra Cricket Association ground.
India made a cautious start to their innings with Murali Vijay (25 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (28 not out) at the crease when stumps were called.
The day belonged to England’s batsmen who made India toil on an easy-paced track after captain Alastair Cook had elected to bat first.
Although the tourists lost a succession of tailenders in the period immediately after lunch, Stokes stayed put to help England post their third highest total on Indian soil.
Stokes, who had three ducks in three previous Test innings against India, hit 13 fours and two sixes on way to his fourth ton in the longest format of the game.
England showed their aggressive intent in the morning session, hammering 139 runs