England vs India 3rd Test Day 1: Ballance and Cook put India under the cosh

Ballance celebrates after bringing up his third Test century

Ballance celebrates after bringing up his third Test century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

England batsman Gary Ballance scored a spectacular century and captain Alastair Cook ended his scoring drought with a superb 95 to put India under the cosh on the first day of the third Test in Southampton.

Cook would have been delighted with his decision to bat first after he and Sam Robson amassed a 55-run partnership before Robson was caught by Ravindra Jadeja at third slip off the bowling of Mohammed Shami for 26.

Cook, who was dropped on 15 by Jadeja at third slip, and Ballance kept the runs flowing with a 158-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Jadeja made up for his error when Cook was caught behind just five runs short of his first Test century in 28 innings.

Cook’s brilliant knock of 95 came off 231 balls and included nine boundaries.

Cook hit nine boundaries during his excellent innings of 95

Cook hit nine boundaries during his excellent innings of 95

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Ballance and Ian Bell amassed an unbeaten 34-run partnership, during which Ballance registered his third Test century, before stumps was called.

Ballance finished on 104 off 204 balls, which included 15 boundaries, while Bell remained undefeated on 16 off 46 deliveries, which included three boundaries.

Shami and Jadeja picked up one wicket apiece. However, debutant Pankaj Singh would have felt that he was robbed of two wickets when Cook was dropped off his bowling and Bell was rapped on the pads right in front of the stumps, but the umpire did not give him out.

England ended day one on 247/2 and will continue batting tomorrow at 11:00 local time or 10:00 GMT.

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