Broad keeps In­dia on the back foot

Viet Nam News - - Sport -

SOUTHAMP­TON — Stu­art Broad took wick­ets at ei­ther end of a long, hot day while Moeen Ali turned the fo­cus back on to his cricket as Eng­land strength­ened their grip on the third Test against In­dia in Southamp­ton.

At the close of Tues­day’s third day, In­dia were 323 for eight in re­ply to Eng­land’s im­pos­ing first in­nings 569 for seven de­clared, a deficit of 246 runs and still need­ing a fur­ther 47 to avoid the fol­low-on.

In­dia cap­tain Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni was 50 not out and Mo­hammed Shami four not out.

Broad, who had looked tired for much of this se­ries while strug­gling with a knee in­jury, ap­peared to have re­gained his old zest while tak­ing three for 65 in 23 overs.

Mean­while James An­der­son, Eng­land’s other se­nior pace bowler, who had taken a wicket late on Mon­day, fin­ished Tues­day with three for 52 in 24.

Ali may still be cat­e­gorised as an ‘oc­ca­sional’ off-spin­ner but he too weighed in with valu­able wick­ets ei­ther side of tea.

“It was a de­cent day for bat­ting so to have picked up seven or eight wick­ets in the day is pretty en­cour­ag­ing,” Broad told Sky Sports.

“But it makes it cru­cial to try to fin­ish In­dia off in the first half-hour.

“The ball didn’t swing a huge amount for us to­day,” he added.

“We didn’t want to give any free drives away, we just wanted to keep the bats­men hang­ing back a bit.” In­dia’s Ajinkya Ra­hane, who gave his wicket away against Ali hav­ing made 54, ad­mit­ted: “Ini­tially it was quite chal­leng­ing, they bowled in good ar­eas.

“I’m sure we’ll get some runs to­mor­row and it’s go­ing be a good game.” Be­fore­playstarted, Birm­ing­ham-born Ali, a prac­tis­ing Mus­lim, was warned by the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil not to re­peat his “po­lit­i­cal” protest­that­sawhimwear­ing wrist­bands bear­ing the words ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Pales­tine’ while bat­ting on Mon­day.

Ali only man­aged 12 in an Eng­land to­tal built on Ian Bell’s 167, Gary Bal­lance’s Test-best 156, cap­tainAlas­tairCook’smorale-boost­ing 95 and debu­tant Jos But­tler ’ s quick­fire 85. In­dia re­sumed on 25 for one. Mu­rali Vi­jay was 11 not out and Chetesh­war Pu­jara four not out.

Eng­land, 1-0 down in the five­match se­ries af­ter In­dia’s 95-run win at Lord’s and with­out a vic­tory in their10pre­vi­ousTests, bad­lyneeded an early break­through.

Broad, one of sev­eral home bowlers ap­pre­cia­bly quicker than those­play­ing­forIn­di­ainthe­ab­sence of the in­jured Ishant Sharma, whose seven for 74 at Lord’s sealed the tourists’ vic­tory, got Eng­land go­ing with two wick­ets in quick suc­ces­sion.

Pu­jara did not get out of the way ofashort­ballintime­andgaveBut­tler a sim­ple catch for his first Test dis­missal.

Broad struck again when Vi­jay, also at­tempt­ing to with­draw his bat, de­flected the ball onto his stumps.

The strug­gling Vi­rat Kohli, who gave a tough chance to Cook on 34, fell soon af­ter­wards for 39 when he edged An­der­son to the Eng­land cap­tain at first slip. —

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