Root, Prior strike half-centuries for England

Nagpur, Dec 14 (IANS) Half-centuries by debutant Joe Root and wicketkeeper Matt Prior took England to 277 for seven in the first innings against India at lunch on the second day of the fourth and the final Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium, Jamtha, Friday.

Root was batting on 65 while Prior made 57 as England scored 78 runs in the first session. Giving Root company at lunch was Graeme Swann, who was unbeaten on 19.

Like the first day, England scored slowly in the morning after resuming at 199 for five. But and Root and Prior with their 103-run stand for the sixth wicket took England to a position of strength.

Root and Prior didn't look in a hurry even as runs were flowing slowly on the difficult track.

Prior got to his 24th Test half-century in style by cutting a shorter ball from Pragyan Ojha through cover-point for four. Prior got a deserved standing ovation from the England dressing room.

Root also got his maiden half-century soon off Ravichandran Ashwin and was well applauded by the crowd and the England dressing room.

Ashwin, however, struck in his next over to remove the dangerous looking Prior, who was bowled by a delivery that didn't turn.

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma struck next to get rid of Tim Bresnan, who didn't trouble the scorers.

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