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Stokes, Bairstow punish sloppy India after Moeen ton

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Cricket - India v England - First Test cricket match - Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot, India - 10/11/16. India's Mohammed Shami (2nd L) celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow. REUTERS/Amit Dave
Cricket - India v England - First Test cricket match - Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot, India - 10/11/16. India's Mohammed Shami (2nd L) celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow. REUTERS/Amit Dave

By Sudipto Ganguly

RAJKOT, India (Reuters) - Moeen Ali completed his fourth test century as England punished a sloppy India and marched towards a huge first innings total on the second morning of the opening game of the five-match series on Thursday.

England reached 450 for six at lunch after adding 139 runs for the loss of two wickets in the first session, aided by some lax fielding from India.

All-rounder Ben Stokes was unbeaten on 84 with Chris Woakes on four at the other end.

Resuming on 311-4, England walked out in a positive frame of mind and dominated the Indian attack, who bowled too many loose deliveries.

Moeen had been on 99 overnight, but got the run he needed to bring up the milestone on the third ball of the day when he dabbed pace bowler Mohammed Shami for a quick single.

Left-handed Moeen hit fast bowler Umesh Yadav for three boundaries in four balls in the day's second over, prompting India captain Virat Kohli to bring on off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin after just five overs with the second new ball.

Moeen was dismissed for 117 after shouldering arms to an incoming delivery from Shami, which ended a brisk 62-run stand with Stokes for the fifth wicket.

There was, however, no respite for the Indian bowlers as Stokes and Jonny Bairstow added another 99 for the sixth wicket before the latter was caught behind off Shami.

India had dropped three catches on the first morning of the match on Wednesday and their profligacy continued when wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha dropped Stokes twice off Yadav on Thursday.

Stokes, who has hit 11 fours and a six, was on 60 when Saha spilled the ball after diving to his left. The wicketkeeper then grassed another almost identical opportunity when the all-rounder was on 61.

Bairstow hit five fours and two sixes in his aggressive knock of 46 before Saha finally managed to hold on to a catch.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)


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