Visakhapatnam Test: India beat England by 106 runs, level series

By BD Naraayannkar

Visakhapatnam, Feb 5 (UNI) India bounced back in the five-match Test series by defeating England by 106 runs on Day 4 of the second match here on Monday.

The hosts were done and dusted in the first Test in Hyderabad but came back with a vengeance in this Test by bundling out England for 292 runs in the second innings.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jasprit Bumrah were the standout players for India with bat and ball, respectively.

Jaiswal cracked his maiden Test double hundred in the first innings and Bumrah was fabulous on the second afternoon on a deck which was very good for batting.

India’s premier strike bowler claimed 6/45 to give hosts a blooming first innings lead with his bamboozling reverse swing, and then in the second dick, hogging three wickets to nail England,

Ravichandran Ashwin, who is one short of a wicket to become the second Indian to claim 500 Test wickets after Anil Kumble, also was outstanding.

England was up for the challenge of getting past 399 runs target, and Zak Crawley played beautifully for his 73 and kept hopes alive for his side.

Joe Root and Ben Stokes wasted their opportunities as the former played an audacious shot to get out, and Stokes found himself short of the crease.

It all started with overnight batsman Rehan Ahmed hitting Indian bowlers even as India captain Rohit Sharma persisted with an expensive Axar, who at last broke a 45-run stand by trapping Rehan leg before.

Ollie Pope and Crawley continued with their blitzkrieg. However, the English opener was very mercurial as he put to good use his reach and punished the balls in the hitting zone.

Not satisfied with his usual tactics, Ashwin went around the wicket for a change and immediately started to bother the batsmen who looked edgy against him.

The spinner had Pope caught sharply at slip by Rohit and beat an attacking Joe Root in flight to have him caught as well. But Crawley and Bairstow came hard against India with a quickfire 40-run stand.

Two close LBW calls reversed the fortunes in India’s favour late in the session. First Kuldeep foxed Crawley LBW on DRS, while Bumrah had Bairstow that nipped back after dishing him with a series of away-balls.

Needing 205 with four wickets in hands, Ben Foakes and Stokes started the post-lunch session with a mixture of caution and aggression, but he was run out of a direct throw from Shreyas Iyer while attempting a quick single.

At 220/7, it looked like England would fold soon, but made Indian bowlers sweat for the remaining wickets. In the process, Tom Hartley and Foakes built a 55-run stand. Just when they started to reduce the deficit, Rohit tossed the ball to Bumrah, and he foxed Foakes off a slow ball.

Mukesh Kumar also struck to get Shoaib Bashir before Bumrah cleaned up Hartley.

Brief Scores

India 396 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 209; James Anderson 3-47, Rehan Ahmed 3-65) & 255 (Shubman Gill 104, Axar Patel 45; Tom Hartley 4-77, Rehan Ahmed 3-88) beat England 253 (Zak Crawley 76, Ben Stokes 47; Jasprir Bumrah 6-45, Kuldeep Yadav 3-71) & 292 (Zak Crawley 73; Jasprit Bumrah 3-46, R Ashwin 3-72) by 106 runs.

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