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India on top of England in first Test

Friday, July 11, 2014

NOTTINGHAM, England - Murali Vijay's dashing 50 left India in a strong position at 1-106 against England at lunch in yesterday's first day of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Vijay was 55 not out and No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 38, with their stand worth 73.

Their partnership followed the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan for 12 England's lone success in the opening session of the five-Test series.

Indian captain MS Dhoni won the toss and it was no surprise when, on a sunny day and with the pitch only showing a tinge of green, he decided to bat first.

Vijay was into his stride from the first over, in which England spearhead James Anderson conceded 12 runs.

Vijay twice steered Anderson down to the vacant third man area and then clipped him through midwicket for a third four in as many balls.

Anderson, whose opening seven overs cost 40 runs in sharp contrast to new-ball partner Stuart Broad's five overs for nine runs was replaced by Liam Plunkett.

Vijay eased a full toss from Plunkett down the ground for four.

He had a minor scare on 41 when, facing recalled allrounder Ben Stokes, he jabbed down on a yorker where the back-spin threatened to take the ball onto his stumps before Vijay blocked it with his bat.

Pujara elegantly cover-drove Plunkett for four and clubbed a full toss from part-time spinner Moeen Ali to midwicket to the joy of Indian fans in a capacity crowd.

Vijay's touch, helped by a fast outfield, brought up his 50 with 44 runs in boundaries, the last four being a superbly timed cover-drive off Stokes.

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