Hartley spins England to memorable victory

By BD Naraayannkar

Hyderabad, Jan 28 (UNI) Debutant Tom Hartley scripted an extraordinary seven-fer spell to help England snatch a come-from-behind victory over India on an enthralling fourth day of the first Test at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday.

The left-arm spinner Hartley produced a monumental spell of 7 for 62 as Indian batsmen disintegrated under pressure in the fourth innings chase, folding at 202 in the 70th over.

They were in the driver’s seat with 190 runs lead in the first innings, but Ollie Pope played Popish innings of 196, especially after his side were 163/5 at one stage in the second dig.

He not only strung a match-winning 80 runs partnership for the eighth wicket with Hartley but also stitched two vital stands with Ben Foakes and Rehan Ahmed, even as he was dropped twice after getting to his century.

Chasing 231 runs, India had a poor start as Hartley, who could manage only two wickets in the first innings, managed to dismiss Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to put India under the pump. But Rohit Sharma made quick runs before getting out leg before to Hartley for 39 off 58 balls with seven hits to the fence.

In post-Tea, wickets tumbled regularly as India threw a surprise by sending Axar Patel at No.5, but the ploy failed as the bowling-allrounder fell at 17, while KL Rahul was trapped leg before for 22.

Things turned further awry for India with Ravindra Jadeja getting runout of a fantastic throw from Ben Stokes, while Shreyas Iyer failed again to impress, giving an easy catch in the slips after making 13.

Ravichandran Ashwin (28) and KS Bharat (28) kept the hopes alive for India as they built a 57-run partnership for the 8th wicket, but their dismissals dried up India’s hopes of winning.

Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah added 20-odd runs for the last wicket, but Siraj was stumped trying to go for a big shot off Hartley.

This win is a testament to England’s Bazball cricket, which gave them an unarguably greatest Test win in the overseas circuit.

The second Test begins in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Brief Scores

England 246 and 420 in 102.1 overs (Ollie Pope 196; Ben Duckett 47; Jasprit Bumrah 4-41, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-126) beat India 436 and 202 in 69.2 overs (Rohit Sharma 39, K.S Bharat 28; Tom Hartley 7-62) by 28 runs.

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