England on 62-0 after bowling India out for 148
LONDON (AP) — England finished on 62-0 at stumps on day one to seize advantage of the fifth test after bowling India out for 148, as it looks to secure a series win at the Oval.
England captain Alastair Cook finished unbeaten on 24 on Friday, alongside Sam Robson on 33. Cook’s side leads the five-match contest 2-1 and needs to avoid defeat to confirm victory.
Cook won the toss and elected to field, and his bowlers took full advantage of overcast conditions after play was delayed by 30 minutes due to overnight and morning rain. Chris Woakes led the way with figures of 3-30, with Chris Jordan close behind on 3-32.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the only man to put up any resistance for the tourists, making 82 before Stuart Broad —passed fit to play as expected despite a broken nose, had him caught at long leg by Woakes, ending India’s innings.
With the visitors resuming after tea on 125-9, captain Dhoni put on a 10th-wicket stand of 58 alongside Ishant Sharma, who was unbeaten on 7, before hooking the ball to Woakes on the boundary for 82.
“To bowl them out for less than 150 is perfect,” Woakes said. “It is nice to pick up a few wickets. We all put the ball in the right areas today and it was good to get a few wickets and contribute. The way the boys finished, on 60 without loss, is a good end to the day.”
India’s ninth wicket fell on 90, but Dhoni ensured India didn’t fall to its worst score at the Oval, which was still 98 in 1952, although Ian Bell dropped Sharma at second slip on 1 off Jordan with India on 95.
It was the only disappointing moment in the whole day for England, as India made 53 extra runs from the reprieve.
Resuming after lunch on 43-5, Stuart Binny added one to his score before picking out Cook at first slip with an outside edge off James Anderson for 5.
Ravichandran Ashwin then became Woakes’ second wicket thanks to a brilliant low catch from Joe Root at gully, which needed confirmation that it had not hit the ground first from the video umpire. Ashwin made 13.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar swiped at a short and wide delivery from Jordan, but managed to only edge it behind to Jos Buttler for 5.
Woakes then caught an outside edge from Varun Aaron for 1 that looped back up towards him off his own bowling, to join Jordan on three wickets for the day. It was yet another session that belonged to England, which picked up where it left off in the fourth test as it looked to seal a series victory.
Opener Gautam Gambhir fell for a golden duck to the fourth ball of the day. He was too slow to change his mind at a bouncer from Anderson and edged behind to Buttler. Anderson, leading wicket-taker in the series on 23, needs five more to match Ian Botham as England’s most prolific wicket-taker in tests.
Broad followed up by bowling Cheteshwar Pujara for 4 to leave India on 10-2. His delivery went up into Pujara’s arm guard after coming off his pads, before crashing into the stumps.
Broad had been unfortunate not to remove Pujara in his previous over when he edged to Cook, but the ball just fell short.
Jordan then bowled Virat Kohli lbw for 6 with his fourth ball. Kohli left a ball that brushed his pads, and umpire Kumar Dharmasena awarded him out after a long pause.
Jordon struck again in his second over, taking a superb reaction catch from his own bowling to remove Ajinkya Rahane for a duck.
Murali Vijay, who offered light resistance for India with a stubborn 18 from 64 balls, edged Woakes to Root at gully, giving all four fast bowlers a wicket in the first session.
“The English guys bowled well,” India fielding coach Trevor Pennie said. “The key was not to lose as many wickets in the early session, that set us back a bit.”