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2nd Test: India in command as England reach 106/8 at Tea

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Chennai, Feb 14 (IANS) India on Sunday afternoon scalped four more England wickets in the second session to put themselves in the driver’s seat in the second Test here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

At the tea break on Day Two, England were placed in a precarious situation at 106/8, still 223 runs behind India’s first inning score of 329. Wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes was batting at the crease on 23 when the umpires called the end of the session. They are still 24 runs short of avoiding the follow-on and have only two wickets in hand.

Ben Stokes was the first wicket to fall in the post-lunch session as he was out bowled on a peach of a delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin. The England all-rounder contributed with 18 runs before his dismissal.

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Ollie Pope and Foakes then added 35 runs for the sixth wicket and tried to rebuild the England innings. However, Mohammad Siraj, playing his first Test in India, got the wicket on the first ball he bowled as Pope was brilliantly caught down the leg-side by Rishabh Pant.

Moeen Ali, who starred with the ball for England, stayed at the crease for 30 balls before he became the second scalp of Axar Patel, getting caught brilliantly in the slips by Ajinkya Rahane.

Olly Stone’s innings lasted only for four deliveries as he was caught at short mid-wicket by Rohit Sharma off the delivery from Ashwin.

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Earlier, after being bundled out for 329 in the first session, India had England on the mat with visitors reaching 39/4 at lunch.

None of the top four England batters, including skipper Joe Root, could stay long at the crease as the Indian bowlers made full use of the conditions at the ‘Chepauk’.

While Rory Burns’ wicket was taken by Ishant Sharma in the very first over of the England innings, the other three wickets of Dominic Sibley (16), Daniel Lawrence (9) and Root (6) went to the two spinners — Ashwin and Patel.

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Brief scores: England 106/8 at Tea (Ben Foakes 23 not out, Ollie Pope 22; Ravichandran Ashwin 4/36) trail by 223 runs against India 329 all out

–IANS

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