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Joe Root rescues England with fine unbeaten 92

Posted on Aug 17 2014 | IANS

London, Aug 16 : Joe Root struck a fine unbeaten 92 to help England recover from a batting collapse and reach 385 for seven in the first innings in the fifth and the final Test against India at The Oval here Saturday.

Despite losing four wickets for 38 runs after a good start, England, who are leading the series 2-1, have now opened up a lead of 237 runs and put themselves in a comfortable position.

Indian pacers Ishant Sharma (2/58), Varun Aaron (2/111) and offie Ravichandran Ashwin (2/55) did most of the damage but runs flowed heavily. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also picked up a wicket.

Giving Root company at stumps was Chris Jordan, who was batting on 19, and the duo added 67 runs for the unfinished seventh-wicket stand.

Root was also involved in a crucial 80-run stand with wicketkeeper Jos Butler (45) that helped England recover from a precarious 229 for five to 309 for six.

Root did most of his scoring in the last session of the day. He scored 81 runs in the post-tea session and overall struck nine fours and a six in his heroic knock that saved England.

Resuming the day at 62 for no loss, England lost overnight batsman Sam Robson (37) in the second over of the day with an excellent delivery from Aaron that knocked his off-stump to the ground.

Robson is yet to score a half-century since the first innings of the first Test but set the platform with skipper Alastair Cook (79) here with a 66-run stand.

Cook and Gary Ballance (64) completely dominated the first session and added 125 runs for the second wicket.

Cook looked set for what would have been his first century in 33 innings but it was not to be.

Shortly after lunch, the England captain was lured into a drive by Aaron and this time Murali Vijay made no mistake taking a good low catch at first slip.

Ballance also departed soon as he gave a simple catch to Cheteshwar Pujara off Ashwin at silly-point and in the next over Ian Bell (7) poked forward to an away going delivery from Ishant and edged to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Moeen Ali (14) was played on by Ashwin as England messed up what would have been a great session for them.

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