SPORTS

Af­ter re­duc­ing Eng­land to 86/6, In­dia fail to clean up the tail thanks to all-rounder’s 78-run knock

DNA (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pacer Jasprit Bum­rah took 3/46 as In­dia dis­missed Eng­land for 246 on the open­ing day of 4th Test in Southamp­ton

Southamp­ton: All-rounder Sam Cur­ran res­cued Eng­land af­ter its lat­est top-or­der col­lapse by scor­ing a ca­reer­high 78 to push the team to a po­ten­tially com­pet­i­tive 246 all out on day one of the fourth test against In­dia on Thurs­day.

The vis­i­tors reached stumps on 19-0 af­ter get­ting through the fi­nal four overs of the day un­scathed, but will rue not tak­ing fuller con­trol of a match they need to win to level the five-match series at 2-2.

Eng­land was 86-6 at one stage at Southamp­ton, but Cur­ran and Moeen Ali (40) put on 81 for the sev­enth wicket to lead a re­cov­ery. Cur­ran, a 20-year-old ris­ing star of the English game, swept a six to bring up the sec­ond half-cen­tury in his three-test ca­reer and was the last man out.

Pace­man Jasprit Bum­rah was the best of In­dia’s bowlers, fin­ish­ing with fig­ures of 3-46 off 20 overs.

Ear­lier, Eng­land had strug­gled to 139 for six at tea af­ter In­dia’s pace at­tack proved too good for their top or­der at the Ageas Bowl.

Moeen Ali (30) and Sam Cur­ran (27) pro­vided some much needed sta­bil­ity af­ter Eng­land had slumped to 86 for six but they will need to bat deep into the evening ses­sion if the tourists are to be made to work for a first in­nings lead.

Eng­land cap­tain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in glo­ri­ous sunshine and with a track that looked nicely pre­pared for bat­ting.

Eng­land lead the five-test series 2-1 but were out­played in the third test at Trent Bridge and once again on Thurs­day the tourists’ bowl­ing at­tack com­bined ag­gres­sion, move­ment and con­sis­tency as they re­moved the top or­der cheaply.

Jasprit Bum­rah con­tin­ued where he left off at Trent Bridge, get­ting the early break­through in the third over with an un­ex­pected de­liv­ery bam­boo­zling Keaton Jen­nings.

Bum­rah pro­duced rare in­swing to the left-han­der which struck Jen­nings, who had opted to leave the ball, on the pads and the Eng­land opener was re­moved with­out scor­ing.

Root was also trapped lbw by Ishant Sharma with a full length ball which moved in late.

Eng­land’s gam­ble to in­clude Jonny Bairstow as a spe­cial­ist bats­man even though the reg­u­lar wick­et­keeper is nurs­ing a frac­tured fin­ger on his left hand also back­fired.

Bat­ting on six, Bairstow edged an­other fine de­liv­ery from Bum­rah to keeper Rishabh Pant as Eng­land floun­dered on 28 for three.

Alas­tair Cook made 17 be­fore an at­tempted late cut off Hardik Pandya flew to skip­per Vi­rat Kohli who pock­eted the chance at third slip. His 55-ball knock in­cluded three bound­aries.

—AFP/REUTERS

Eng­land’s Sam Cur­ran cel­e­brates his 50 as In­dia’s wk Rishabh Pant looks on on Day 1 of the fourth Test in Southamp­ton on Thurs­day; (Left) In­dia’s Jasprit Bum­rah cel­e­brates Keaton Jen­nings’s wicket

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