India vs England 2016, 5th Test, Day 1: Moeen Ali’s Ton Hurts India After Ravindra Jadeja’s Three-Fer
Moeen Ali registered his fifth Test hundred to put England in command after Ravindra Jadeja bagged three wickets on Day 1 of the fifth Test at Chennai. At stumps, the visitors were 284 for four.
With anything but pride to play for, England entered the Chennai Test with two changes. Rookie Liam Dawson got his maiden Test cap while Stuart Broad was dragged in for injured James Anderson. India, on the other hand, had some injuries issues too, sidelining last match centurion Jayant Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who were replaced by Amit Mishra and newly married Ishant Sharma.
Just as Harsha Bhogle tweeted before the start of play, ‘England should approach this as one off test to be won’ the visitors obeyed the advice and batted first after winning the toss. Off the first ball, Alastair Cook played a defensive shot to pick up two runs and reached yet another milestone of reaching 11,000 runs in Tests, first by an Englishmen in history.
— Ajay Raghuvanshi (@ajay_raghava) December 16, 2016
Before England could gain any momentum, Ishant Sharma picked up Keaton Jennings for just one. Ravindra Jadeja, who was given the ball early on, found the edge of Alastair Cook’s bat on 10, scalping him for the fifth time on the tour. Within an hour, England were reduced to 21 for two.
Joe Root, who is the leading run-scorer for England in the series so far, handpicked the gaps with some conventional striking of the ball. He along with Moeen Ali paced the England innings well, scoring 68 runs in the first session.
Given the dry track, spinners were finding it tough to take any wicket as the onslaught from the pair continued post lunch. Root, who was playing his 11th Test against India, scored his 25th fifty. Itchy to get away with few runs, Moeen Ali worked off well with his feet and helped the bad balls to boundaries.
England had a firm hold on the session until Ravindra Jadeja came back and nicked one past the bat of Joe Root, sending him back on 88. Joined by Jonny Bairstow on crease, Moeen Ali helped himself finding some more gaps in the field.
At tea, the visitors were 182 for three, taking home the session successfully.
Few overs later after tea, all-rounder Moeen Ali completed his fifth Test hundred and was well acknowledged by the crowd too. India looked tired as runs were leaking from each end. As Jonny Bairstow was approaching his 15th Test fifty, he played one straight into the hands of KL Rahul for 49, giving Ravindra Jadeja his third wicket of the match.
Both left-handers Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali played safe thereon and helped England grab honors on Day 1.
Stumps On Day One:
England – 284/4; Moeen Ali 120*(222), Joe Root 88(144) & Ravindra Jadeja 3/73.
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