Cricket: England bowlers chip away

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India were reduced to 323-8 in reply to England’s first-innings 569-7 declared by the close of day three of the third Test in Southampton.
James Anderson (2-52), Stuart Broad (3-65) and Moeen Ali (2-62) did the damage as India, on 25-1 overnight, lost a succession of batsmen after making starts on what remains a flat pitch.
Broad sent back Cheteshwar Pujara (24) and Murali Vijay (35) during the morning session and, when Anderson had Virat Kohli (39) caught at slip shortly after lunch, the tourists were 136-4 and still trailing by 433.
Ajinkya Rahane (54) and Rohit Sharma (28) steadied the innings with a fifth-wicket stand of 74 but both gifted their wickets to spinner Moeen either side of the tea break to hand the initiative back to England ahead of the second new ball.
Anderson, armed with the fresh ammunition, revelled in the chance to renew acquaintance with his old friend Ravindra Jadeja (31), eventually pinning the left-hander lbw for 31.
The Lancashire seamer will face his International Cricket Council disciplinary hearing on Friday into the alleged altercation with Jadeja during the first Test at Trent Bridge.
Anderson is charged with a level three offence and, if found guilty of that, would miss at least the final two games of the series, while Jadeja has already been punished for his role in the incident, costing him half his match fee.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni remained unbeaten on 50 at the close with his team still trailing by 246.
Bell bruised
Opening batsman Vijay inadvertently gave England a potential problem early on day three with an edge off Anderson just short of Ian Bell at second slip, resulting in an awkward blow to the left thumb which forced the fielder – and key batsman – off the pitch and to hospital for an x-ray, which came back clear.
Broad was kept out of the attack for the first half-hour as England captain Alastair Cook initially preferred Chris Woakes (0-60) in tandem with Anderson.
But the Nottinghamshire seamer soon made up for lost time by having Pujara caught behind via glove – a first Test catch for wicketkeeper Buttler on debut – and bowled Vijay off his inside edge.
Kohli and Rahane set about a rebuilding project during a 48-run alliance either side of lunch, only for Anderson to have Kohli held low down by Cook at first slip.
With the back-up seamers struggling, Chris Jordan (0-59) in particular offering little control, Rahane and Sharma were again able to build a promising stand.
Promising, but nothing more. Sharma advanced to Moeen and picked out Broad at mid-off, while Rahane managed an even worse shot, toe-ending a long hop from the same bowler into the hands of the substitute fielder, Sean Terry, son of former Hampshire batsman Paul.
The second new ball gave England a further avenue to attack against Jadeja and Dhoni, both keen stroke makers.
After Anderson had won his personal battle with Jadeja, Broad capped England’s day by having Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19) – who managed three half-centuries in the first two Tests – held by a diving Gary Ballance in the slip cordon off a combination of inside edge and pad.

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