IND vs ENG, 5th Test: Crawley’s fifty helps England touch three-figures mark (Day 1, Lunch)

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Dharamsala: An attacking half-century by opener Zak Crawley and his half-century partnership with Ben Duckett helped England end the first session on high, with a score of 100/2 on day one of the fifth and final Test against India at Dharamshala on Thursday.

At Lunch, England was 100/2, with Crawley (61* in 71 balls, with nine fours and a six) unbeaten at the crease.
During the first ten overs, England was off to a cautious start, with Zak being the aggressor. Duckett struggled to get more boundaries and played a very unusual defensive game. England scored just 35 runs in their first ten overs.
Duckett’s sweep shot on a delivery by Ravichandran Ashwin, playing his 100th Test took England to 50-run mark in 14.2 overs.

The duo tried to attack spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the 18th over, smashing a boundary each, but the spinner had the last laugh, removing Duckett (27 in 58 balls, with four boundaries). Shubman Gill took a fine diving catch running from the cover region. England was 64/1.

Ollie Pope was next up on the crease. He held the other end while Crawley freely attacked the spinners. He reached his half-century, his fourth of the series in 64 balls, with nine boundaries. England reached the 100-run mark in 25.1 overs.

Just when it seemed that the duo of Pope and Crawley would build something big, Pope was dismissed by Kuldeep, with Dhruv Jurel pulling off a brilliant stumping. England was 100/2 in 25.3 overs, ending the first session.
Kuldeep (2/22) was the pick of the bowlers for India.

England skipper Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bat first during the fifth and final Test against India at Dharamsala’s Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium on Thursday. India has already won the series 3-1. England, having lost their first series under skipper Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum’s leadership, are playing for their pride. Despite the series being decided, there are valuable 12 ICC World Test Championship points up for grabs. This is also the 100th Test match for Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin and England batter Jonny Bairstow.

England (Playing XI): Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes(c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes(w), Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, Mark Wood, James Anderson India (Playing XI): Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal, Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.

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