Strauss, Vaughan lead England

London, July 19:

Andrew Strauss and Michael Vaughan each hit half centuries to take England to 197 for one wicket at tea on the opening day of the first Test against India here on Thursday.

The pair added 82 runs in the second session after England had lost opener Alastair Cook just before the break. Strauss and his captain were largely untroubled by an inexperienced pace attack at Lord’s, with Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth wayward and struggling to extract menace from a benign pitch.

Strauss made the most of a let-off before lunch, when he was dropped by Dinesh Karthik, cutting and driving to get to within 16 runs of his first Test century since August. Strauss reached 84, while Vaughan made it to 57.

Sourav Ganguly continued to bowl after lunch, but failed to repeat his surprise breakthrough of the morning session. Captain Rahul Dravid introduced Ganguly to provide some variation and he trapped Cook leg before wicket with his fourth delivery.

Cook, who scored 398 runs at an average of 56.85 in the series win over West Indies, was given out by umpire Steve Bucknor to a ball that appeared to pitch just outside off stump. He had scored 36 off 39 balls.

Strauss was almost out for 43 in the penultimate over before lunch when he was dropped by Karthik off Shanthakumaran Sreesanth at backward point. The chance was so easy that Strauss, who had been in poor form against West Indies, missed the spilled catch because he dropped his head and stared at the ground thinking he was out.