Tourists frustrate England

Varun Aaron, right, celebrates taking the wicket of Moeen Ali at Emirates Old Trafford

Varun Aaron, right, celebrates taking the wicket of Moeen Ali at Emirates Old Trafford

First published in National Sport News © by

India fought back to frustrate England in their attempts to build a big lead on the second morning of the fourth Investec Test at Emirates Old Trafford.

With overhead conditions now in their favour, the tourists struck three times before lunch to restrict England to 201 for six and a lead of 49.

Joe Root was unbeaten on 23 at the interval with Jos Buttler on 13, the hosts' progress having been hampered by some fine seam bowling from the Indians.

It was a dry morning with a forecast for showers later in the day.

England had begun with an opportunity to assert themselves and build a commanding lead but India started confidently and, chiefly through their pacemen, pulled themselves back into contention.

Ian Bell, 45 overnight, did reach his half-century in the second over of the morning but the luckless Pankaj Singh - still seeking his first Test wicket - and Bhuvneshwar Kumar caused problems early on.

Nightwatchman Chris Jordan had ridden his luck slightly on his way to 13 but then failed to get on top of a rising bouncer from Kumar and pulled a catch to the diving Varun Aaron at midwicket.

Kumar then accounted for Bell for 58 with some fine swing bowling. Bell seemed fortunate to survive after a fine outswinger narrowly missed his outside edge but there was to be no escape as he nicked the next delivery behind to MS Dhoni.

Root did survive until lunch but did endure some awkward moments, not least when he left a delivery which almost clipped his off-stump.

Root took nine balls to get off the mark but did bring the scores level with a good push through the covers for three off Kumar.

Moeen Ali pulled Kumar for successive fours but he still seemed uncomfortable against the short ball and India continued to test him.

Root also seemed uneasy against such tactics and was struck on the helmet by Aaron, who then out-thought Moeen.

Moeen managed to squirm two on the legside after again being forced onto his back foot but the next delivery was full and straight, and the batsman played around it to lose his off-stump.

The session ended with spin at both ends from Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and they did show signs of extracting turn from the rough but Root and Buttler prevented further damage.

England began to move forward with more confidence after lunch with Root - although enjoying one stroke of luck with a four off the bottom of his bat - being assertive.

The Yorkshire batsman progressed to 48 not out, with Buttler unbeaten on 22, before rain stopped play at 237 for six.

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