Rajkot: Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed's century partnership at the top consolidated England's position in the first Test on Saturday as the visitors were leading by 163 runs after securing first innings lead of 49 runs against India at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
While Hameed, who made his debut in this Test, was unbeaten on 62, Cook was batting on 46. The duo faced no trouble on a track that did not deteriorate much on the fourth day of the Test.
Earlier, R Ashwin's 70 helped India reach 488 after England managed to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli in quick succession in the first session. India were in a spot of bother then but Saha and Ashwin added 64 runs together.
While Saha got out off Moeen Ali's bowling, Ashwin soldiered on to get India closer to England's first innings total.
India 426/7 from 142 overs
England go into Tea after having bowled the hosts out for 488 runs. The Ashwin-Wriddhiman partnership of 64 runs helped India get close to England's total of 537. However, Saha's dismissal by Moeen Ali proved to be crucial to be the turning point of the Indian innings, as the last four wickets fell for just 63 runs. Ashwin did well to score 70 before being the Three Loins' last victim of the innings.
While England started the game off well, putting up 537 runs on the board,but will be disappointed to have not been able to have restricted India to a lower total. However, although a lead of 49 runs may not be big. Adil Rashid was the pick of the England bowlers, picking up four wickets.
India 426/7 from 142 overs
Moeen Ali gets the wicket that England so desired. Saha and Ashwin were looking to keep the Indian scoreboard ticking. Wriddhiman Saha will not be happy at how he got out. It was a poor delivery by Moeen, to say the least. Saha's attempt to cut the ball was genuine, but it took a wicked bounce, as the India wicketkeeper-batsman only managed to edge the ball to Baristow, who did well to take a smart catch behind the wicket.
India 419/6 from 142 overs
R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha are doing a fine job rebuilding Indian innings. The duo has already added more than 50 runs and India will want them to help the side to cross the England's total of 537.
India 365/6 from 121 overs
Double strike! India in a deep hole! Zafar Ansari has disturbed the timber to send Ajinkya Rahane packing. If that was not enough, Virat Kohli has followed his deputy back into the dressing as he gets out hit-wicket. England are favourites to take first innings unless Ashwin and Saha have some other plans.
India 339/4 from 115 overs
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have made a positive start as India look to get past England's total. While Rahane has taken on the short ball, Kohli has looked compact in his stay in the middle.
Rajkot: The onus will be on Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Co as India aim to continue their good show with the bat and get past England’s 537 runs on day four of the first Test at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Saturday.
Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara laid a solid foundation for Kohli and Co after the duo scored tons in a 209-run partnership. While England scalped two late wickets, India are still in a strong position to get the first innings lead.
For England, Alastair Cook will bank on his spinners – Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari – on a pitch has started to offer something for the spinners....