Pope hits fifty but India in box seat in first Test against England

Pope hits fifty but India in box seat in first Test against England

Ollie Pope was unbeaten on 67 at tea with England still trailing by 18 runs and struggling against a persistent Indian bowling attack in the opening Test on Saturday.

England were 172-5 at the break in Hyderabad after beginning the second innings behind by 190 after the hosts were bowled out for a mammoth 436 in the morning session.

Pope was batting alongside wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (2) after brief and disappointing spells from Joe Root (2) and skipper Ben Stokes (6).

Jasprit Bumrah and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked two wickets each.

Zak Crawley fell to Ashwin’s off-spin early but England raced to 89-1 at lunch after Ben Duckett defied the Indian attack with back-and-forth sweeps to keep the scoring rate above five per over.

Bumrah bowled a sensational spell after lunch to get Duckett bowled for 47, soon after the batsman survived an lbw call that would have likely been upheld if reviewed.

He then got veteran batsman Joe Root lbw for two to raise the volume of a raucous weekend crowd.

Ravindra Jadeja bowled Jonny Bairstow for 10 and Ashwin got his second after bowling Stokes.

India resumed the day on 421-7 in response to England’s first innings total of 246 and overnighters Jadeja and Axar Patel started cautiously, with just six runs scored in the first half-hour.

Root, who returned figures of 4-79, got Jadeja out and bowled Bumrah on the next ball but Mohammed Siraj avoided the hat-trick.

Leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed cleaned up Axar on 44 to end the innings inside the first hour.

Spinner Jack Leach, who injured his knee while fielding on day one and again on day two, took the field heavily bandaged and bowled just one over in the morning.

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