Strauss, Cook guide England to 157/0 at lunch

August 11th, 2011 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Birmingham, Aug 11 (IANS) Indian bowlers failed to separate the England opener pair of Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook who steered their side to 157 runs at lunch on the second day of the third cricket Test here Thursday.

At the break, England were just 67 runs behind India’s first innings total of 224.

Strauss (84) and Cook (51) continued from where they left Wednesday evening to put England, who lead the four-match series 2-0, firmly on course for a bigger total.

The day started half an hour late because of a morning drizzle. India took the field under partly overcast sky and conditions looked good for the seamers to take advantage.

Strauss and Cook, who had patiently guided England to 84 for no loss in 25 overs Wednesday, began with an intent to occupy the crease and see off the initial overs.

Praveen Kumar was the pick of the Indian attack and bowled a probing line. The slow nature of the pitch did not help as the edges fell halfway down the slip cordon.

It was difficult for the Indian pacers, who in any case lack that extra pace to push the batsmen on the backfoot.

The two England openers played with soft hands and adjusted well to the seaming ball.

The first boundary, however, came only in the 15th over of the morning. The two openers slowly gained in confidence and freed their arms. Strauss hit 13 boundaries and Cook seven.

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