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But the spell soon broke, and Motera grew quiet once again. Maybe it was a square cut from Prior, off Ojha, that pierced the gap between point and the off-side sweeper, maybe it was the pitch reverting to type, maybe it was the fact that Cook and Prior are experienced cricketers, used to seeing out such phases.
In Ojha's next over, another square cut four from Prior, followed by a drive to the cover boundary, took England into the lead. Six overs later, Cook and Prior walked off, their partnership an unbroken 141.
The day had been full of trademark Dhoni-style captaincy. For the seam bowlers, who in their short bursts often looked likelier to take wickets than the spinners as the day wore on, the off side sweeper was a regular sight. During his partnership with Prior, Ojha bowled to Cook with a deep midwicket. Yuvraj Singh took the ball second over after tea, and bowled a four-over spell.
But till Prior's arrival, the day had also followed Dhoni's script, with wickets falling in little bursts between long spells of the waiting game.
In the seventh over of the morning, Zaheer Khan beat Nick Compton's outside edge with a ball that left him from around the wicket. After three more balls from that angle, Zaheer switched to over the stumps.
Perhaps playing for a bit of away movement, Compton's pads got in the way of a full delivery that just about pitched on leg stump. A typical Zaheer wicket.
Ashwin and Ojha then bowled six overs in tandem before Dhoni switched the left-arm spinner to the other end. Ojha struck first ball from the press box end, with a loopy delivery that turned a little more than Jonathan Trott expected and kissed his edge on its way to the keeper.