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Saturday, Sep 26th

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Root, Bell avert Indian fightback before rain plays spoilsport

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Ian Bell and Joe Root hit solid knocks as they kept an Indian fightback much at bay before rain ruined the second day of the fourth test match in Old Trafford.

India made a good start to the second day as they snatched crucial wickets to restrict England to 201-6 at lunch, despite an Ian Bell fifty.

Bell and nightwatchman Chris Jordan played with relative ease as they negotiated the first half hour, despite there being plenty of movement for the Indian bowlers on a cool morning under a densely cloudy sky.

 

However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was easily India's best bowler of the session, got Jordan to pull a short ball straight to a diving Aaron at midwicket. Kumar came back in his next over to beat Bell with an outswinger outside off, a ball that the batsman had been avoiding since the start. However, persistence paid off as Kumar finally got Bell to fend at one that left the batsman, and thus England were in a spot of bother at 140-5 as Bell walked back, caught behind for 58.

With Moeen Ali out in the middle, Dhoni looked for some short stuff from his bowlers. Ali, however whisked Kumar away to the fence twice in an over to put England in the lead. However, Aaron got a full one to come back into Moeen's stumps as the batsman was sent back for 13, and thus India clawed their way back into the match with a good session as England posted 201-6 at lunch.

Root and Buttler continued their steady stand after tea as the Indians were frustrated a tad bit. However, rain made a promised visit as per forecasts and delayed proceeding for the remainder of the day as play was called off with England 85 runs ahead.

Mini scorecard:

India, 1st Innings 152 all out (46.4 overs)

MS Dhoni 71 (133) S Broad 6-25 (13.4)

A Rahane 40 (42) J Anderson 3-46 (14)

England, 1st innings-stumps, 237-6 (71 overs)

I Bell 58 (82) V Aaron 3-44 (14)

J Root 48 (94) B Kumar 3-47 (18)