India fight back after Strauss ton

Chennai, December 11:

England opener Andrew Strauss hit 123 in the first Test as cricket returned to centrestage in India after the Mumbai terror attacks. The left-hander’s 13th century after a first-wicket stand of 118 with Alastair Cook (52) lifted England to 229-5 by stumps on the opening day. Andrew Flintoff was unbeaten on 18 and James Anderson was on two. India fought back in the final session with four wickets to end the day.

The left-handed pair of Strauss and Cook batted through the first three hours to give England a solid start. Cook fell soon after reaching his 15th half-century when he miscued a pull off Harbhajan Singh tp Zaheer Khan. England, at a commanding 164-1 at tea, slumped to 221-5 after the break following a double strike by Zaheer Khan, who trapped Ian Bell (17) leg-before and then took a return catch of Pietersen (4). India earned a lucky when Paul Collingwood (9) was declared caught off Harbhajan Singh by umpire Billy Bowden. TV replays showed the ball go off the pad.