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Stokes hits third England ton in India Test

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016 David Clough
England's batsman Ben Stokes raises his bat after scoring hundred during the second day of the first test cricket match between India and England in Rajkot, India, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. © Associated Press England's batsman Ben Stokes raises his bat after scoring hundred during the second day of the first test cricket match between India and England in Rajkot, India, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.

Ben Stokes has scored England's third century of the innings as the tourists move to 8-509 on Thursday's second day of the first Test against India in Rajkot.

Moeen Ali (117) needed just a single to add his hundred to Joe Root's the previous day, and duly scampered it from the third ball of the morning.

Then Stokes (122no), who shared a damaging sixth-wicket stand of 99 from just 21.1 overs with Jonny Bairstow, rode his luck to ensure England consolidated their position in this first Test of five.

It is only the second time England have had three individual hundreds in the same innings in Asia, the previous in Kanpur in 1961, and not since Cardiff in May 2011 against Sri Lanka have they managed the feat anywhere.

Stokes' previous three Test innings against India were all ducks, but it was a case of zero to hero at his fourth attempt as he reached three figures from 173 balls, having hit 12 fours and a six.

Moeen counted nine fours in his four-hour milestone and, in the next over from Umesh Yadav, he added three more in four balls - twice helped by unimpressive work in the field.

He was to pay for a misjudgement against Mohammad Shami, though, getting his angles wrong and leaving one from round the wicket which knocked out off stump.

After a fifth-wicket stand of 52, Stokes' new partner Bairstow soon announced his intent by hitting legspinner Amit Mishra straight for six.

There were two escapes in successive Yadav overs for Stokes, on 60 and 61, when wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha failed to hold diving chances - the second easier than the first - after the left-hander toe-ended attempted cuts at wide deliveries.

That took India's tally of missed catches in the innings to five - four of them off Yadav - but Saha did took his next chance when Bairstow went after another wide one from Shami.

Chris Woakes then fell in the first over after lunch, to a thin edge behind, as Ravindra Jadeja (3-86) found some turn, and Adil Rashid picked out mid-on off the slow left-armer.

Stokes was fortunate that his mistimed slog-sweep against the same bowler swirled high between fielders in the leg-side ring, but it was then off Jadeja too that he made room to cut the boundary which brought up his fourth Test hundred.

Murali Vijay could not hold on at long-on from a Mishra delivery, without toppling over the boundary, as Stokes doubled his six tally on 110.

England ploughed on past 500 - the first visiting team to do so in India since their own 523 in Kolkata on their last successful visit in 2012.

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