Root, Stokes pile on misery as England reach 355/3 at lunch

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Chennai, Feb 6 (PTI) Skipper Joe Root notched up his third straight 150-plus score and added 92 runs with Ben Stokes to help England dominate proceedings in the first session on the second day of the first Test against India here on Saturday.

Skipper Root was batting on 156 (277 balls, 16 fours, 1 six) while Stokes had reached a strokeful 63 (98 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes) as the visiting team reached 385 for 3 at the lunch break.

For India, the experienced trio of Ishant Sharma (0/37), Jasprit Bumrah (2/57) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1/92) tried their best but could not break the Root-Stokes partnership, which is looking ominous from the host's point of view.

Shahbaz Nadeem (0/100) and Washington Sundar (0/65) could not make any impact and were taken for easy runs as India's woes multiplied.

Stokes played some powerful shots including some sweeps off the spinners and reached his 50 off 73 balls with a powerful reverse sweep off Shahbaz Nadeem as he put the bowlers under pressure.

Even as Stokes went about playing aggressively, Root appeared content to play the second fiddle and quietly moved past 150 without looking in much trouble.

Root had hit a double ton in Sri Lanka in the recent series and followed it up with another big century.

Stokes hit two beautiful shots, one each on the on-side and the off-side off Ishant Sharma to bring up the team 300.

England added 40 runs in the opening hour as Root and Stokes moved on without any great alarms even as the Indian bowlers kept plugging away.

In between, Ashwin put down a caught and bowled chance and Cheteshwar Pujara could not hold on to a tough catch when Stokes hammered one on the leg-side.

Stokes, as always on the look out for runs, smacked Ashwin for a big six over mid-off.

Early in the day, Bumrah almost did Stokes in with a brilliant yorker, which the southpaw somehow managed to keep out and ensured that England did not lose a wicket after resuming at the overnight score of 263 for 3.

The hard working Bumrah came up with a searing yorker closer to lunch but Root was able to jam his bat down in time. PTI SS KHS KHS