England Battle After Collapse
India 457 (Vijay 146, Dhoni 82, Kumar 58) v
England 352-9 (Root 78no, Ballance 71)
First Test, Trent Bridge, day three
England lost six wickets in the middle session of day three of the opening Test against India at Trent Bridge and had to battle to close the day still trailing by 105 runs.
Replying to India's 457, they had batted through the morning session but slipped from 134 for one to 205 for seven at tea.
Joe Root hit an excellent unbeaten half-century and with support from Stuart Broad (47) and James Anderson (23 not out), took England past the follow-on target.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-61) and Mohammad Shami (2-98) followed up their 111-run 10th-wicket stand yesterday by sharing six wickets and Ishant Sharma took three for 109.
The absence of the Decision Review System (DRS) rose to the fore as a talking point after Matt Prior was given out caught behind only for replays to show he did not hit the ball.
Nevertheless, even though England won the opening session and finished strongly in the final session, this was another day for India, but few are expecting this game to result in anything other than a draw due to the benign nature of the pitch.
The day began with clouds overhead and seemingly good conditions for the Indian bowlers to take advantage of but they found no way through against Sam Robson (59 in 142 balls) and Gary Ballance (71 in 167).
They survived a testing first hour to take England from their overnight score of 34 for one to 77 or one and added another 54 runs in the second hour to reach lunch at 131 for one, the highlight of the morning session when Ballance took Sharma for three fours in one over.
As was the case on the first two days, wickets tumbled after the break.
First to depart was Robson who was trapped in front by Sharma. There might have been a feint inside edge but there was no doubt about Ballance's dismissal, also trapped in front by the same bowler as he appeared to over-balance outside off stump.
In the meantime Ian Bell had pulled his first ball for four but made just 25 in 37 balls with six fours before making a decision to leave a very wide ball from Sharma fractionally too late and edging to MS Dhoni.
The Indian bowlers had pretty much avoided the short ball but used it as a surprise delivery and it worked against Moeen Ali. England's Headingley centurion had made 14 when a short ball from Shami hardly rose at him at all, clipped his bat handle as he turned away, and looped up to Virat Kohli to take an easy catch.
Then, in the 71st over, England lost two wickets and the debate over why DRS is not in use when India play reared its head again when Prior (5) was given out caught Dhoni, standing up, bowled Kumar.
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While there was a sound as the ball passed the outside edge of his bat, his shock at being given out was obvious. It was a poor decision but one that anywhere else in the world, against any other opponent, Prior would have been able to review and carry on batting.
He had to go, however, and so, two balls later did Ben Stokes, who definitely edged Kumar to Dhoni, now standing back, for a two-ball duck.
At the other end, watching the clatter of wickets was Root, who had to work hard for his runs early on in his innings, but grew in confidence as the day went on.
Along with Broad, who hit nine fours, he added 78 for the eighth wicket to ensure India will have to bat again.
Broad faced just 42 deliveries, greeting the new ball, taken after 82 overs, by hitting it repeatedly to the boundary until he was trapped in front by Kumar.
While his reaction suggested that this was another bad decision, on this occasion, it was a good one and had Broad been able to review, it would have been wasted.
Liam Plukett (7) was bowled by Kumar before Root and Anderson combined to build an unbroken 54-run stand for the final wicket.
Root cleverly marshalled Anderson, while also taking advantage of scoring opportunities when Dhoni brought the field up.
Anderson, meanwhile, scoring his first 16 runs in boundaries, a couple punched down the ground a couple reverse swept as he reached 23 in 51 balls.
Root stood firm to reach stumps on 78 in 167 deliveries.
The other bowlers used by india were Ravindra Jadeja (0-56 from 24 overs) and Stuart Binny (0-22 from six).
© Cricket World 2014
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