England reach 352-7 against India at lunch on second day

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Chennai: India picked up three wickets as England reached 352 for seven in their first innings till the lunch on the second day of the fifth and final cricket Test here on Saturday.

Resuming the day at 284/4, the visitors were expected to have another successful day with the bat but it was not to be as Ben Stokes (6), Jos Buttler (5) perished inside the first six overs of the day.

Moeen Ali, who was not out on 120 on the first day, could add only 26 as England once again looked to flounder after a promising start at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Liam Dawson (27) and Adil Rashid (8) were at the crease when lunch was called, with the session fetching 68 runs for the visitors, who have already lost the series after losing three consecutive Tests following an opening draw.

Ravichandran Ashwin provided India a perfect start to the day as in the first over of the session, the off-spinner forced an edge of left-hander Stokes, who was caught by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Five overs later, pacer Ishant Sharma dismissed Buttler with a straight delivery that hit the English right-hander on the pads — an easy decision for the umpire, as England struggled at 300 for six.

Left-hander Ali, who batted beautifully on the opening day to register his fifth Test hundred, seemed to be struggling as India applied the tactic of bowling bouncers to him, asking him to pull or hook — the shots he is not good at. India’s plan worked as he half-heartedly pulled a short delivery from paceman Umesh Yadav to Ravindra Jadeja at mid-wicket.

With seven wickets down for 321 runs, Dawson and Rashid looked determined not to give any more wickets to India as England reached 352-7.

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