Hyderabad, Jan 25 (IANS) Ben Stokes hit the accelerator while batting with the tail to take England past 200 even as India continued to pick wickets in a superb second session on day one of the first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday.
At tea, England were on 215/8 in 59 overs with Stokes not out on 43 and Mark Wood giving him company on seven. England scored 108 runs in the second session but lost five wickets, four of which were taken by Indian spinners.
In the start of the session, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root took their fourth wicket partnership to 61 runs before the former was dismissed by a near-unplayable delivery from left-arm spinner Axar Patel.
Bairstow was looking for another shot to be played off the backfoot, but the ball coming with a tall release point and from wide of the crease, spun away after pitching in the middle and went past the outside edge to hit top of off-stump.
Root continued to sweep his away against the spinners, before the shot caused his downfall as his pre-mediated sweep took a big top-edge to short fine leg off Jadeja. England continued to lose momentum post lunch as Ben Foakes went after a spinning away delivery from Axar and nicked behind to wicketkeeper KS Bharat.
Jasprit Bumrah joined the wicket-takers party by slipping in a slower off-cutter which took the inside edge of Rehan Ahmed behind to Bharat. Debutant Tom Hartley shined in a small cameo of 23 off 24 runs, including a slog-sweep off Ashwin for six.
But he was castled by Jadeja, who got the ball to uproot his leg-stump after beating him on the inside edge. From the other end, Stokes got his first boundary in 53 balls with a switch-hit past Jadeja and repeated the same shot against the spinner.
Stokes again went after him, hitting down the ground, heaving over leg-side and then reverse-sweeping in front of square for three boundaries. Wood showed no intentions of hanging around by driving Ashwin past point for four till tea arrived.
Brief Scores: England 215/8 in 59 overs (Ben Stokes 43 not out, Ben Duckett 35; Ravindra Jadeja 3-75, Ravichandran Ashwin 2-55) against India