Trott survives to score half-century, England 127/2 (Tea report)

July 21st, 2011 - 10:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh London, July 21 (IANS) England made the most of India’s inconsistent bowling and dropped chances to reach 127/2 at tea on the opening day of the first cricket Test at Lord’s here Thursday.

Jonathan Trott got two lives to score a patient 58 and together with a shaky Kevin Pietersen (22), anchored England’s innings after the fall of captain Andrew Strauss (22), the only wicket the hosts lost in the second session.

Strauss, who made a cautious beginning, pulled Zaheer to Ishant Sharma at fine leg.

But India were dealt a blow when Zaheer, who dismissed Alastair Cook in the morning session, left the field in the middle of the 42nd over. Zaheer was in pain and it looked that he had pulled his hamstring.

Zaheer did not return till an early tea was forced because of bad light.

The start of the 2,000th Test overall and the 100th between the two nations was also delayed by half an hour due to rain. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won a good toss and gave his bowlers the chance to use the cloudy conditions.

The pacers, however, bowled a tad short and lost a bit of an advantage in seaming English conditions as the hosts treaded cautiously to reach 43/1 at lunch.

Zaheer removed Cook (12) lbw in the 11th over with a delivery that swung in to strike the left-hander on the knee roll.

There were two missed opportunities for the visitors. Strauss survived a run out chance while Trott escaped after his edge off Harbhajan Singh, two overs before lunch, flew to the slips where Rahul Dravid could only get his fingertips to it.

Trott had another life in the second session off Zaheer when another edge from him fell between Dhoni and first slip Dravid.

Trott slowly grew in confidence and hit some fluent drives through the covers. He struck eight fours in all.

In the morning, Zaheer, coming back after missing the West Indies tour with an ankle injury, got the the ball to wobble, but not from the ideal length.

Praveen Kumar, preferred over S. Sreesanth and Munaf Patel, also got the ball to move away from the two left-handed openers, but he, too, did not make the batsman play much and also lacked in pace to trouble the batsmen. Dhoni moved up to keep the stumps when Praveen was bowling.

Strauss and Cook batted patiently and were happy to leave the swinging deliveries.

Cook’s wicket lifted Zaheer’s morale and the left-armer began to hit the right length, drawing Strauss to drive.

Struass, who has been out of form but had a good outing in the tour match playing for Somerset, looked determined to build his innings.

Ishant Sharma, the highest wicket-taker in Tests this year and with 22 wickets in the West Indies series, generated pace but struggled to find the right line and length.

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