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Keaton Jennings hits ton on debut, England eye big total

Keaton Jennings hits ton on debut, England eye big total
Highlights

Opener Keaton Jennings struck a century on debut to keep England on course for a big first innings total against India on the first day of the fourth and penultimate test at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

MUMBAI: Opener Keaton Jennings struck a century on debut to keep England on course for a big first innings total against India on the first day of the fourth and penultimate test at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

The touring side, trailing 2-0 in the five-match series, were 196 for two at tea. Jennings was unbeaten on 103 at the crease with Moeen Ali not out on 25 at the other end.

Left-hander Jennings became captain Alastair Cook's latest opening partner, replacing teenager Haseeb Hameed, who broke his little finger in Mohali and returned home to undergo surgery.

Jennings, the son of South African former wicketkeeper and coach Ray, arrived in India only on Monday after being called up from the England Lions squad in the United Arab Emirates.

After Cook won the toss and opted to bat, the 24-year-old Jennings survived some nervous moments at the start but grew in confidence as he spent time at the crease.

He was dropped by Karun Nair at gully off paceman Umesh Yadav even before he had opened his scoring while India also wasted a review after Jennings was given not out to an appeal for leg before off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who came into the side for the injured Mohammed Shami.

Before the match, Cook had promised a more positive approach from his batsmen and it reflected during England's opening stand of 99.

Cook looked solid during his 60-ball 46 and hit five boundaries before he was out to left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja's third ball of the morning.

Cook danced down the wicket but was beaten by the spin and was stumped by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Jennings, who scored six centuries for county side Durham last season, played some handsome drives against the pacemen and some fine sweep shots to the spinners for his 12 fours in his unbeaten knock so far.

He reverse swept off-spinner Jayant Yadav for a boundary to bring up his hundred.

England lost Joe Root for 21 after lunch when the right-hander edged off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to India captain Virat Kohli at slip.

But Jennings and Moeen ensured there was no further damage for England by stitching together an unbroken stand of 60 for the third wicket.

Kohli made a valiant effort and got his fingertips to an edge from Moeen, then on 13, off Umesh but failed to grab the tough chance.

In an unfortunate incident in the second session, Australian umpire Paul Reiffel left field after being hit on the back of his head by a throw from the outfield.

Reiffel, who was standing at square leg, was felled by Kumar's lobbed throw and play resumed with third umpire Marais Erasmus taking on the on-field duties.

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