Skipper Alastair Cook (46 not out) and debutant Haseeb Hameed (62 not out) put England in the driver’s seat with an unbeaten 114-run stand, as the visitors extended their lead to 163 runs at stumps on the penultimate day of the opening Test against India here on Saturday.
After dismissing India for 488 and taking a slender 49-run lead in the first innings, the England openers started on a cautious note with the teenaged opener, Hameed getting to his maiden half century off 94 balls at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Coming in to bat in the post-tea session, the left-right opening combo frustrated the Indian bowlers as Cook and Hameed took England over the 100-run mark in the 33rd over.
Hameed, who consumed 116 balls for his undefeated 62, got a life, when the 19-year-old was batting on 40 after the third umpire turned down a leg-before review from the hosts.
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Unfazed at the calls, the right-hander went on with his calculative stroke play hitting five fours and a six.
Cook, at the other end, maintained his composure and rotated the strike well as the southpaw took 107 deliveries for his knock, which contained just three hits to the fence.
For India, none of the bowlers looked threatening as even the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra failed to extract the spin and bounce like their English counterparts.
Earlier, leg-spinner Adil Rashid scalped 4/114 to help England restrict India for 488 in their first essay. Rashid was well supported by fellow spinners Moeen Ali and Zafar Ansari, who took two wickets each.
Ravichandran Ashwin scored a half-century and produced a 64-run stand along with wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha after Indian captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane went back to the pavilion before lunch.
Ashwin scored 70 runs, studding his innings with seven boundaries.
Saha, who was caught behind off Ali’s bowling, scored 35 with two boundaries and a six.
Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav also returned to the pavilion soon after Saha’s departure.
Ashwin was then involved in another partnership of 29 runs with Mohammed Shami before Ali dismissed him to bring India’s first innings to an end.
Earlier, Kohli and Rahane ensured that the hosts started the day on a steady note.
Resuming on the overnight score of 319/4, Kohli and Rahane saw off the initial spells from England pacers Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.
The duo added 30 runs between them before Rahane was bowled by left-arm spinner Ansari.
Cook employed a packed field on the off-side which forced the Indian batsmen to repeatedly try to score on the onside.
The move paid rich dividends as both Rahane and Kohli departed in quick succession while trying to hit against the turn to the onside.
Rahane was dismissed while trying to work the ball to the onside against the spin. But he misjudged the length and could only watch as the ball crashed into his stumps.
The Mumbai batsman scored 13 off 30 balls with one hit to the fence.
Kohli was also dismissed while trying to hit to the onside. The Indian captain stepped too deep inside his crease while pulling leggie Rashid and treaded on the stumps during the follow through.
Kohli scored 40 runs with five boundaries studding his 95-ball stay in the middle.
Ashwin and Saha then took charge and ensured that the hosts went into the lunch break without any further loss of wickets.