Southampton, July 28 :
England continued to dominate proceedings in their third cricket Test against India as a 142-run partnership between Gary Ballance (156) and Ian Bell (68 batting) took the hosts to 358 for three at lunch on day two at The Rose Bowl here Monday.
England, who started the day on 247 for two, scored 111 runs in 29 overs, losing just one wicket.
Joe Root (2 batting) was the other unbeaten batsman.
Rohit Sharma was the sole wicket-taker for India, albeit a bit fortuitously. Ballance was adjudged caught behind but the deflection was off the thigh pad and not the bat, bringing to an end a fine inning from the Englishman.
Bell too was very fluent, stroking 10 fours and a six on his way to his 42nd career fifty.
The Indian seamers struggled for their consistency and sprayed the ball all around the stump.
The ineffective bowling helped Bell and Ballance record the third successive fifty-plus stand in the innings.
However, there were some bright signs for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the pitch started to take a little turn, which Rohit Sharma exploited to send England’s top scorer Ballance back.
It, however, remains to be seen how the Indian spinners — Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan — perform in the absence of the talented Ravichandran Ashwin.