India make England bowlers toil

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iol spt july10 Dhoni

AP

India continued to grind out the runs against England on the second day of the first Test at Trent Bridge. Photo by: Rui Vieira/AP

England finally saw the back of Murali Vijay as India continued to grind out the runs in the first Test at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

India were 342 for five at lunch on the second day after opener Vijay had fallen lbw to James Anderson for 146 -- the only wicket England took in the session.

But India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, dropped on his overnight score of 50, was 81 not out and Ravindra Jadeja 24 not out.

India resumed on 259 for four, with Vijay 122 not out -- his fourth Test hundred but first overseas -- and Dhoni, who had won the toss, at the crease.

It had been a gruelling first day for England's four seamers on a flat pitch that had precious little pace and bounce.

In these circumstances, they could ill-afford dropped catches.

But when Dhoni drove loosely at a full-length Stuart Broad delivery and got a thick edge, wicketkeeper Matt Prior, diving to his right, floored the one-handed chance.

Vijay had got off to a flyer on Wednesday with 11 boundaries in his first fifty runs and he showed his touch again Thursday by cover-driving Anderson for four.

Nevertheless, both Anderson (4-2-9-0) and Broad (5-3-8-0), on his Nottinghamshire home ground, proved tough to get away.

Vijay, however, played arguably the shot of the morning when he leant forward to guide all-rounder Ben Stokes through backward point for four.

England captain Alastair Cook tried to be innovative by packing the offside field in front of the wicket only for Dhoni to still get the ball through for four off Stokes.

But Vijay's near eight-hour innings eventually ended when he was lbw to Anderson, having faced 361 balls, including 25 fours and a six.

He also put on 126 for the fifth wicket with Dhoni.

Replays suggested the ball was going over top of the stumps but with no Decision Review System this series due to Indian objections, Vijay had to accept Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford's verdict.

Jadeja, who would have been run out for four had Stokes's shy hit the stumps, then exposed the weak link in England's attack by driving part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali for two straight sixes in three balls.

Ali's three overs in the session cost 20 runs, giving him expensive lunch figures of none for 70 in 12 overs.– AFP


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