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August 8, 2006
India 11 for 1 (Sumra 1*, Jain 8*) trail England 223 (Atkins 73) by 212 runs
India enjoyed a commanding day in the field on the opening day of the first Test at Leicester, bowling England out for 223 and then crawling to 11 without loss by stumps. A battling stand of 93 between Caroline Atkins and Beth Morgan spared England's blushes to rescue them from the mire at 96 for 5, but they will still be kicking themselves for losing so many early wickets and falling away so easily.
The visitors got their day off to a happy start, with Rumeli Dhar dismissing Laura Newton early, for 4. The remaining opener Charlotte Edwards (16) set about stabilising the innings with Claire Taylor (32) but her fall at 51 for 2 triggered a collapse in which England lost five wickets for 41. That included a wicket for Preeti Dimri on debut; she trapped Jenny Gunn lbw for 14. Dimri later collected the wicket of Jane Smit, for 12.
England's debutants, Sarah Taylor and Laura Marsh didn't have such a great first day, both trapped by Jhulan Goswami in single figures. Taylor, 17, and a protégé of Clare Connor, made just 9 runs, with Marsh striking 3 at No 11. Rosalie Birch departed in the same manner for a four-ball duck.
But all the while Atkins glued the innings together on her return to the Test arena after four years. All her hard work with the MCC seems to be paying off. She and Morgan were in looking in great nick until Hemlata Kala bowled Morgan for 30. Atkins' 142-ball vigil eventually came to an end on 73 when she too was trapped lbw, with Kala the bowler this time. Kala took 2 for 16 in five overs.
Monica Sumra and Karu Jain then made a start which can only be described as dishwater-dull, stonewalling India to 11 from 14 overs. It was hardly gripping cricket, but at least they're well set tomorrow to chip away at the deficit and try to build a lead.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.