Ian Bell, Jos Buttler Dominate India
England 569-7 dec. (Bell 167, Ballance 156) v
India 25-1 (Anderson 1-14)
Third Test, The Ageas Bowl, day two
A classy century from Ian Bell, a belligerent half-century from Jos Buttler and a wicket from James Anderson put England in prime position on day two of the third Test against India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
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Bell struck 167 in 256 balls and Buttler marked his maiden Test innings with 85 in 83 balls before England declared on 569 for seven.
Anderson then had Shikhar Dhawan caught by Alastair Cook to make it comprehensively England's day after Gary Ballance had earlier advanced from his overnight 104 to make 156.
India, who lead the five-match series 1-0, closed on 25 for one, still trailing by 544 runs.
England advanced to lunch on 357 for three, losing only the wicket of Ballance, although he was hard done by, given out caught behind by MS Dhoni off Rohit Sharma after missing the ball.
He faced 288 balls in all, hitting 24 fours and added 142 with Bell for the third wicket.
Bell looked in good touch - as he has done all summer, without making a big score - and struck the ball sweetly to all parts.
A measure of how well his game was working was that he looked as comfortable on-driving as he did through the covers and he reached his century in fine style, launching Ravindra Jadeja down the ground for six.
The same blow carried England past 400 and his own personal tally of Test runs past 7,000, and he added 15 more runs in that one over to make his intentions perfectly clear.
While Joe Root (3) and Moeen Ali (12) were unale to stick around with him for long, Buttler overcame a tough start to put on 106 for the fifth wicket.
As Bell moved past 150, going on to make 167 in 256 balls with 19 fours and three sixes, the stage was set for Buttler to show the sort of aggression that he is being urged to bring to this England side.
He had his good fortune, however, one edge dropping short of Ajinkya Rahane and another being shelled by Dhawan before he had really got into his stride.
India would pay for it as he hammered nine fours and three sixes to utterly dominate a seventh-wicket stand of 43 with Chris Woakes (7 not out) until he was bowled attempting another big shot off Jadeja, who finished with two for 153.
That was the signal for England to close their innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-101), Mohammad Shami (1-123) and Sharma (1-26) were the other wicket-takers while Pankaj Singh, who had Alastair Cook dropped early on day one before scoring 95, conceded 146 runs for no wicket and Dhawan was the only other bowler used.
England then made good use of a late burst at India's top order and Anderson got what he wanted when he went round the wicket and had Dhawan caught by slip at first slip to complete a miserable day for the Indian left-hander.
He had made just six but his team-mates Murali Vijay (11 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (4 not out) successfully made it through to stumps.
© Cricket World 2014
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