Openers staged a spirited fightback to helpEnglandstay alive in the first Test after Ojha fifer helpedIndiaenforce follow-on over the visitors on day three.

Ahmedabad: Pragyan Ojha snapped up five-wickets to give India a massive 330-run lead before England fought back in the second innings to give themselves a slight hope of saving the first Test on Saturday.

England were bundled out for 191 in the first innings with Ojha taking five for 45 while Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets, prompting India to enforce the follow-on.

But the script changed remarkably in the second innings as skipper Alastair Cook (74 batting) and Nick Compton (34 batting) steeredEnglandto 111 for no loss at close on an eventful third day with the visitors still trailing by 219 runs.

With two full days left in the match, India still hold the advantage of going 1-0 up in the four-match series. England will have to bat out of their skin to save the game on a Sardar Patel track that appears to be getting slower.

The visitors showed better application in the second innings, afterIndia, who scored a massive 521 for eight declared, asked them to follow-on.

Left-arm spinner Ojha claimed his career’s fourth five-wicket haul with figures of five for 45 in 22.2 overs in his 17th Test while Ashwin grabbed three for 80 in 27 overs.

Starting the second innings after an early tea, Cook and debutant Compton, who was out for nine in the first innings, put on an unbeaten century stand to give England a fine start in their quest for avoiding an innings defeat.

Neither Ojha, nor his off-spin partner Ashwin, could pose as many problems to the English openers in the second essay as they did in the first.

The spinners, especially Ashwin, also bowled a lot flatter and did not stick to a consistent line of attack on a wicket that became more and more placid as the game progressed.

Englandstill have a huge task on hand and their first job tomorrow would be to wipe out the first-innings deficit.

The manner in which Cook and Compton negotiated the Indian bowlers, in stark contrast to what they did in the first, holds some hope for the visitors.

England, who started the day at 41 for three, were pushed to the brink before they adjourned for the lunch break at 110 for seven. They fought back for a brief while through Matt Prior (48) and Tim Bresnan (19).

Prior was the last man out when he lost his off stump to Ojha.

Prior’s was the top score of the innings with only captain Cook, who scored 41, being the only other batsman to cross 40 in a pathetic display.

Prior, who had come to the wicket at the fall of Ian Bell with the total reading a miserable 69 for five, played with positive intent.

Indiashuffled their bowlers constantly and Ojha got the breakthrough by dismissing Bresnan and then followed it up with the wicket of Prior after Zaheer got his only wicket of the innings, trapping Stuart Broad leg before.

Ojha picked up two wickets off successive balls while Ashwin and medium pacer Umesh Yadav shared the other two to leave the tourists 411 runs behindIndia’s first innings total at the end of first session.

Ojha packed off a nervous-looking Pietersen and a cluelessBellat the same score of 69 while Ashwin broke through the defense of Cook eleven runs later.

India 1st innings 521/8 

England 1st innings

A Cook c Sehwag b Ashwin………..41

N Compton b Ashwin………………….9

J Anderson c Gambhir b Ojha……….2

J Trott c Pujara b Ashwin……………..0

K Pietersen b Ojha…………………….17

I Bell c Tendulkar b Ojha………………0

S Patellbw b Yadav…………………..10

M Prior b Ojha………………………….48

T Bresnan c Kohli b Ojha……………19

S Broad lbw b Khan…………………..25

G Swann not out………………………..3

Extras: (b-5, lb-12)………………….17

Total: (all-out in 74.2 overs)……191

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-29, 3-30, 4-69, 5-69, 6-80, 7-97, 8-144, 9-187

Bowling: Ashwin 27-9-80-3, Zaheer 15-7-23-1, Ojha 22.2-8-45-5, Yuvraj 3-0-12-0, Yadav 7-2-14-1.

England2nd innings

A Cook not out…………………………74

N Comptonnot out…………………..34

Extras: (lb-3)……………………………3

Total: (For no loss in 38 overs)…111

Bowling: Yadav 7-1-15-0, Ojha 14-3-34-0, Ashwin 14-3-49-0, Sehwag 1-0-1-0, Zaheer 1-0-1-0, Tendulkar 1-0-8-0.

(For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in