India fight back after Strauss century
England opener Andrew Strauss hit 123 in the first Test on Thursday
as cricket returned to centrestage in India after the Mumbai terror
The left-handerís 13th century after a first-wicket stand of 118 with
Alastair Cook (52) lifted England to 229-5 by stumps on the opening day
at the heavily guarded Chidambaram stadium.
Andrew Flintoff was unbeaten on 18 and nightwatchman James Anderson
was on two.
India fought back in the final session with four wickets to end the
day with honours even on a barren wicket that is expected to turn later
in the match.
The 45,000-seater stadium wore a deserted look as less than 1,000
fans watched the Test start just a fortnight after the Mumbai attacks
that left 172 dead and injured more than 300.
England, who abandoned the one-day series and flew home after the
attacks, agreed to return for the two-Test series after security checks
and a shift in venues. Kevin Pietersenís men joined the Indian players
in wearing black armbands after observing a minuteís silence for the
victims before play began.
The crowd, which swelled to around 5,000 by afternoon, included
International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat and top
officials of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The left-handed pair of Strauss and Cook batted through the first
three hours to give England a solid start after Pietersen won the toss
and elected to take first strike.
Cook fell soon after reaching his 15th half-century when he miscued a
pull off Harbhajan Singh high to mid-on where Zaheer Khan took a
England, at a commanding 164-1 at tea, slumped to 221-5 soon after
the break following a double strike by Zaheer.
The left-arm seamer trapped Ian Bell leg-before for 17 with the
second delivery after tea and then took a return catch as Pietersen
(four) top-edged a hook high into the air.
India earned a lucky break soon after when Paul Collingwood (nine)
was declared caught at short-leg off Harbhajan by umpire Billy Bowden.
Television replays showed the ball go off the pad.
Strauss finally fell after a dour six-hour vigil at the crease when
he was beaten in the air by leg-spinner Amit Mishra and spooned a low
return catch to the bowler.
ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS
Andrew Strauss c and b Mishra 123
Alastair Cook c Khan b Harbhajan Singh 52
Ian Bell lbw b Khan 17
Kevin Pietersen c and b Khan 4
Paul Collingwood c Gambhir b Harbhajan Singh 9
Andrew Flintoff not out 18
James Anderson not out 2
Extras: (4lb) 4
TOTAL: (for 5 wickets) 229
FALL OF WICKET: 1-118, 2-164, 3-180, 4-195, 5-221.
TO BAT: Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar.
BOWLING: Zaheer Khan 17-7-36-2, Ishant Sharma 15-2-29-0, Harbhajan Singh 26-2-67-2,
Amit Mishra 20-4-63-1, Yuvraj Singh 11-2-22-0, Virender Sehwag 1-0-8-0.