Fifth Test: Root, Ali boost England (Lead Tea)

Chennai, Dec 16 (IANS) England rode on a partnership by Joe Root and Moeen Ali to post 182/3 in their first innings at tea on the opening day of the fifth and final cricket Test here on Friday.

Ali (63) and Jonny Bairstow (10), who came in following Root’s dismissal, were in the middle at the break.

England were in trouble early on the Indian bowlers struck early blows to dismiss openers Alistair Cook and Keaton Jennings cheaply.

With the visitors struggling at 21/2, Root and Ali came together to add 146 runs between them to take them out of trouble.

Root was unlucky to miss out on what would have been a well-deserved century as he was snared by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja while on 88 following an unsuccessful review.

Jadeja was the most successful among the Indian bolwers with figures of 2-54.

Pacer Ishant Sharma struck the first blow for the hosts by sending back the in-form Jennings.

The England opener attempted to drive a delivery which was slightly outside the off-stump only to offer an easy chance to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Jadeja continued his excellent record against Cook, inducing an outer edge from the England captain that was snapped up by his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli in the slips.

It was the fifth time in the series that Jadeja had dismissed Cook.

The hosts will have to wait quite a while before having the chance to celebrate another wicket as Root and Ali took on the task of bringing the visitors’ innings back on track.

Jadeja finally broke the partnership shortly before tea when Root tried to sweep one which was spinning away.

Television replays revealed that the ball had taken a slight nick off the lower edge of the bat on its way to the wicketkeeper after Root decided to review the umpire’s decision.Brief scores:

England (First Innings): 182/3 (Joe Root 88, Moeen Ali 63 batting; Ravindra Jadeja 2-54) vs India.