News

England's Pope hits first series ton in India Test opener

By AFP

January 27, 2024 12:34 PM


Ollie Hope

England's Ollie Pope hit the first century of a high-profile five-Test series against India on day three of the opening match on Saturday.

Pope reached his fifth Test ton with three runs off Ravindra Jadeja in Hyderabad as he took off his helmet and raised his bat to soak in the applause.

Pope's hundred -- his first against India -- came in 154 balls including 10 boundaries.

The 26-year-old, playing his 39th Test since his debut in 2018, has scored over 2,000 runs with a personal best of 205.

Three Indian batsmen including top-scorer Jadeja (87) narrowly missed the three-figure mark in the first innings after getting out in the 80s.

Earlier, India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got Zak Crawley out early to put England in further trouble in the opening Test as the tourists began their chase of a 190-run lead on Saturday.

India's innings ended on 436 inside the first hour on day three in Hyderabad after Ravindra Jadeja made 87 and part-time spinner Joe Root returned figures of 4-79.

The tourists came out with their attacking "Bazball" brand of cricket to race to 45 runs inside 10 overs before Ashwin came around the wicket to the right-handed Crawley, who edged the ball to first slip to be out for 31.

England reached 89-1 at lunch, still trailing India by 101 runs. Left-handed opener Ben Duckett (38) and Ollie Pope (16) were batting at the break.

India resumed the day on 421-7 in response to England's first innings total of 246 and overnighters Jadeja and Axar Patel started cautiously with just six runs scored in the first half-hour.

Root got Jadeja out and bowled Jasprit Bumrah on the next ball but Mohammed Siraj avoided the hat-trick.

Leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed cleaned up Axar on 44 to end the innings inside the first hour and hand England a formidable challenge at the start of the five-match series.

The visitors had a tough grind on day two and an injury to lead spinner Jack Leach only increased their woes on a pitch expected to turn more.

Leach, who injured his knee while fielding on day one and again on day two, took the field heavily bandaged.

He bowled just one over in the morning.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (80) and KL Rahul (86) led India's charge before Jadeja took control in a 78-run partnership with fellow left-hander Axar.

Scoreboard

England 1st innings 246 (B. Stokes 70, J. Bairstow 37, B. Duckett 35; R. Ashwin 3-68, R. Jadeja 3-88)

India 1st innings (overnight 421-7; R. Jadeja 81, A. Patel 35)

  1. Jaiswal c and b Root              80
  2. Sharma c Stokes b Leach           24
  3. Gill c Duckett b Hartley          23

K.L. Rahul c Ahmed b Hartley         86

  1. Iyer c Hartley b Ahmed            35
  2. Jadeja lbw b Root                 87

K.S. Bharat lbw b Root               41

  1. Ashwin run out (Hartley/Foakes)    1
  2. Patel b Ahmed                     44
  3. Bumrah b Root                      0
  4. Siraj not out                      0

Extras (b5, lb6, w2, nb2)            15

Total (all out, 121 overs)          436

Fall of wickets: 1-80 (Rohit), 2-123 (Jaiswal), 3-159 (Gill), 4-223 (Iyer), 5-288 (Rahul), 6-356 (Bharat), 7-358 (Ashwin), 8-436 (Jadeja), 9-436 (Bumrah), 10-436 (Axar)

Bowling: Wood 17-1-47-0 (w2), Hartley 25-0-131-2 (nb2), Leach 26-6-63-1, Ahmed 24-4-105-2, Root 29-5-79-4

Toss: England

Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL), Paul Reiffel (AUS)

TV Umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA)

Match Referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)


AFP


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