Strauss ton puts England on top against India

Published: Saturday, March 18, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Opener Andrew Strauss (128) struck a brilliant ton while Owais Shah (50 retd hurt) celebrated his debut with a half-century as England piled on 272 for three after being invited by Rahul Dravid on a perfect batting wicket on day one of the third Test at the Wankhede stadium here today.

At stumps, England captain Andrew Flintoff (17) and Paul Collingwood (11) were at the crease.

England, who are 1-0 down following their nine-wicket loss in Mohali, continued to have injury problems as their main pace bowler Steve Harmison and opener Alastair Cook, who had made a century on debut in the first Test at Nagpur, had to sit out due to a shin injury and a stomach ailment respectively.

The visitors needed to show all the courage and grit to compete and Andrew Strauss found form as he made the most of an easy paced wicket smashing a brilliant 128 which included 17 boundaries and a six of Anil Kumble.

He had the luck running for him also as Dravid dropped a difficult chance off Harbhajan when he was on 92 and then Dhoni dropping him on 123, also of Harbhajan Singh.

In the morning, Strauss was well supported by make-shift opener Ian Bell, who saw off the new ball helping the Middlesex opener put on 52 for the first wicket before the first loose shot by Bell brought his downfall. He tried to drive Sreesanth on the up but only managed to slice it to Harbhajan Singh at point who made no mistake. Bell made 18.

Scorecard of Day 1

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