Chennai: An unbeaten century from Moeen Ali, his second of the series, was the highlight of the first day’s play in the fifth and final Test between India and England at the Chepauk stadium, in Chennai with the visitors on 284/4 at stumps.
Alastair Cook decided to bat first after winning the toss it was the hosts who started the match brightly with Ishant Sharma removing rookie opener Keaton Jennings for 1, in his comeback Test after getting married.
The pitch was taking vicious turn from the beginning and Virat Kohli introduced Ravindra Jadeja in the 9th over of the innings and that worked wonders for the hosts. Jadeja dismissed England skipper Alastair Cook, who reached the milestone of 11,000 test runs, before getting dismissed for just 10 runs.
Cook has now been dismissed by Jadeja 5 times in the 9 innings played in the series so far.
England could have been in deeper trouble had KL Rahul held on to a chance when Moeen Ali played an uppish shot through the mid-wicket region. Rahul, didn’t time his jump properly and couldn’t hold on to the chance. Moeen had not even opened his account at that time.
Joe Root and Moeen Ali weathered the storm and put on a decent partnership to resurrect the innings for the visitors. Both notched up their respective half-centuries post lunch and were also scoring runs at a rapid pace.
Root’s half-century meant he has now hit at least 50 runs in 11 consecutive matches against India in the longest format of the game.
But Ravindra Jadeja broke the dangerous looking partnership by dismissing vice-captain Root for 88. After given not out by the third umpire for bat-pad caught out, Kohli invoked the DRS and the third umpire overturned the decision in India’s favour.
Johnny Bairstow joined Ali at the crease and started hitting big blows from the word go. The leading Test run-getter of the year slammed three huge sixes in quick succession to shift the pressure back on the Indian bowlers.
Just as right-hander was about to notch up his half century, Jadeja got the prized wicket of Bairstow (49), whichwas his third wicket of the innings.
But there was not stopping Moeen Ali who notched up his fifth Test century and second of this series against India. He also became the fourth England batsman to score 1000 runs in Test matches this year.
Virat Kohli opted to take the second new ball late in the day but that backfired spectacularly as Moeen took the pacers to the cleaners.