England struggle for runs on turgid day

December 13, 2012
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Nick Compton, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell were all dismissed cheaply as England struggled to 199-5 by the close of the first day of the fourth Test against India.

However, Kevin Pietersen hit 73 and Jonathan Trott 44 as England hit back after losing both openers with only 16 runs on the board and, after the tourists had slumped to 139-5, debutant Joe Root and wicketkeeper Matt Prior put together an unbroken stand of 60 for the sixth wicket.

Yorkshire youngster Root impressed in making a steady unbeaten 31 while Prior was 34 not out at the close.

However, it was not a good day for the spectators as the slow, lifeless pitch contributed to England scoring at slightly more than two runs an over in a match they only need to draw to clinch the series.

England are 2.50 to score more than 340 runs in their first innings and are 3.10 to win the fourth Test.

Meanwhile, England's Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad has been forced to return home because of a bruised left heel and will not feature in the two-match series against India.

He has been replaced in the squad by the 22-year-old uncapped Middlesex bowler James Harris. Eoin Morgan will captain the side in Broad's absence with the first match taking place in Pune on 20th December.

Steven Finn, who was replaced by Tim Bresnan for the fourth Test, will also return to the UK after straining a disc in his back. However, he is expected to be available for the one-day series against India, which starts in January.

Opening batsman Compton has been awarded an England increment contract for 2012-13 after playing all four Tests in India.

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