England made an impressive start to the third Test against India at the Ageas Bowl.
Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat at Hampshire’s headquarters.
And the home side, who are 1-0 down in the series, reached stumps on day one at 247 for two.
Cook, who came into the game under intense pressure for both his captaincy and form with the bat, came agonisingly short of a timely ton with 95.
Gary Ballance made no mistake, though, as he was 104 not out at the close of play.
Sam Robson was the only casualty of the morning session – dismissed for 26 to end an opening stand of 55.
Cook and Ballance shared 158 runs before Ian Bell joined England’s number three to see the day out.
Bell will resume on 16 not out as the Ageas Bowl rose to the challenge of restoring some pride to England’s Test team.