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India take charge against dismal England in fifth Test

India take charge against dismal England in fifth Test
© Reuters
England produce a woeful batting performance on the opening day of the fifth Test to give India control in Dharamsala.

England have wasted a promising position during the early stages of the fifth Test with India to already look on the verge of a heavy defeat.

Ben Stokes won the toss in Dharamsala and swiftly opted to bat first, but his team were bowled out for 218 before seeing India reach 135-1 at stumps.

A stomach bug hindered England's preparations in the build-up to this contest, yet that evidently played no part as they dominated the opening hour.

England accumulated 64 before Ben Duckett departed for 29, and the 100 was brought up when Ollie Pope went for 11, with Zak Crawley at his enterprising best at the other end.

However, after a knock of 79 from 108 balls which included 11 fours and one six, Kuldeep Yadav took the third of his five wickets and it led to another England collapse.

From 137-3, England lost their remaining seven wickets for 81 runs, with Joe Root (26), Jonny Bairstow (29) and Ben Foakes (24) making the only notable impressions and Stokes being removed for a duck.

Shoaib Bashir hung around to make an unbeaten 11 from 22 deliveries, but the resistance only temporarily delayed India from launching their counter-charge.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma put on 104 for the first wicket in 20.4 overs before Bashir struck to remove Jaiswal for 57, bringing Shubman Gill to the crease.

Complementing Sharma's 52 from 83 balls, Gill hit two sixes as he made 26 from 39, and a total of seven sixes have already been struck in 30 overs of play.

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India celebrate taking a wicket against England on February 25, 2024.
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