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England seize control of Edgbaston Test

England enjoyed an excellent opening day in the third Test against India as they pursued a win that would see them replace the tourists at the head of the ICC's Test Championship table. They closed on 84 without loss in reply to India's modest first innings 224, a deficit of 140 runs, at Edgbaston here on Wednesday.
England captain Andrew Strauss was 52 not out and fellow left-handed opener Alastair Cook 27 not out in front of a sell-out 25,000 crowd at Warwickshire's headquarters, redeveloped at a cost of GBP 32 million (USD 52 million).

Their unbroken stand rounded off a good day for England, already 2-0 up, as they pursued a victory that see them take the four-match series and go to the top of the Test standings. Strauss, in what was his best Test score this season, set the seal on a fine first day for England shortly before stumps by completing a 76-ball fifty including 10 fours. Earlier seamers Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, England's heroes with both bat and ball during their crushing 319-run second Test win at Trent Bridge, shared eight wickets. Broad took four for 53 in 17 overs, with the fast-medium bowler dismissing both Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar as the India stars managed just one run between them. Meanwhile Bresnan, recalled at Trent Bridge in place of the still-injured Chris Tremlett, had four for 62 in 20 overs.

 India have yet to post 300 this series but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni prevented total embarrassment with a swashbuckling 77 after a top-order collapse reduced his side to 111 for seven. Together with the resourceful Praveen Kumar, he added a run-a-ball 84 for the eighth wicket. Dhoni, whose previous best score this series was 28 in the opener at Lord's, launched James Anderson for a straight six and also clubbed Bresnan high over long-on as he at last found his form with the bat.

Kumar was no silent partner, hitting a six and four fours in his 26 before, trying to hook Bresnan, he was caught by wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Dhoni was evenually out when an edged drive off Broad was held by first slip Strauss to end a 96-ball knock featuring three sixes and 10 fours.