England in control after India crumble

Captian MS Dhoni top-scores with 82 as the tourists bowled out for 148 on opening day of the fifth Test at The Oval.

    Indian batsmen were all at sea against the home side bowlers [REUTERS]
    Indian batsmen were all at sea against the home side bowlers [REUTERS]

    England's four-pronged pace attack bowled India out for 148 before the hosts reached 62 for no wicket in reply to take control of the fifth and final Test on an absorbing first day at The Oval.

    Only a battling knock of 82 by India captain MS Dhoni saved the tourists from complete collapse and his last-wicket partnership of 58 with Ishant Sharma was by far the largest stand of the innings.

    First day scorecard

    India first innings 148
    England first innings

    A Cook not out 24
    S Robson not out 33

    Extras (b 4, w 1) 5
    Total (0 wickets; 19 overs) 62

    England captain Alastair Cook and Sam Robson gave the home side a solid start and, leading the series 2-1, they are in a strong position to clinch it.

    "To bowl them out for under 150 is fantastic, and the way the boys batted at the end was brilliant," England all-rounder Chris Woakes told reporters after completing Test-best figures of three for 30.

    "Dhoni played pretty well. When he's in that sort of mood he's pretty good at it. But we would have taken that at the start of the day. The pitch was a little bit helpful for us today and we got the rewards for it."

    Batting woes

    India struggled to 43 for five at lunch and Stuart Binny edged an Anderson outswinger to Cook at first slip before Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 24. At tea, the tourists were down further, limping to 125 for nine and Dhoni continued to spray the ball around the ground in the final session.

    He hit 15 fours and batted for over three hours before pulling Broad straight into the hands of Woakes at long-leg.

    England's Cook and Robson batted cautiously, mixing a few crisp attacking strokes with watchful defence, though the captain was lucky to survive a strong lbw appeal by Kumar on nine.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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