England in firm control after India's batting collapse

Aug 16 2014, 08:52 IST
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Cook and Robson then settled down as runs started to flow easily.(AP) Cook and Robson then settled down as runs started to flow easily.(AP)
SummaryIndia's embarrassing sequence of batting failure continued to be skittled out for a paltry 148..

India's embarrassing sequence of batting failure continued as they produced yet another spineless display to be skittled out for a paltry 148 and give the advantage to England on the very first day of the fifth and final cricket Test, here today.

Put into bat on overcast conditions, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni waged a lone battle amidst the ruins with a gutsy 82 as wickets tumbled at regular intervals on a seaming Oval track.

India could have been in a far grave situation but for a fighting 58-run last wicket partnership between Dhoni and Ishant Sharma.

Ishant, who returned to the team after missing the last two Tests due to injury, gave Dhoni perfect company from the other end to take India close to the 150-run mark before England finally drew curtains on India's innings in 61.1 overs.

England were 62 for no loss in 19 overs at stumps on the opening day of the match.

Skipper Alastair Cook (24 runs, 49 balls, 2 fours) and Sam Robson (33 runs, 65 balls, 5 fours) were unbeaten at the crease.

The English opening duo defied the new ball even as the Indian medium-pacers toiled hard in the final session to peg the hosts back.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-25), Ishant (0-12) and Varun Aaron (0-14) searched for wickets in futility. Stuart Binny (0-7) also bowled two overs.

Perhaps the closest the Indian bowlers came to a breakthrough was early on, in the ninth over, when Kumar caught Cook plumb in front of the wicket but umpire Paul Reiffel throught otherwise.

Cook and Robson then settled down as runs started to flow easily and in the process brought up their 50-run partnership in the 16th over of the innings.

Earlier, Chris Jordan (3/32) and Chris Woakes (3/30) shared six wickets between them to bowl India out cheaply.

James Anderson (2/51) and Stuart Broad (2/27) also chipped in with four wickets for the hosts.

Dhoni was the lone Indian batsman to produce some fight and was the last man out after scoring his 33rd Test fifty which helped his side recover from a precarious 36 for five at one stage.

After tea, Dhoni added another 23 runs for the last-wicket stand with Ishant (7 not out) to register the highest partnership for India in this beleaguered

The visitors were reeling at 43 for five at lunch and needed Dhoni and Binny (5) to show some grit.

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