England scripted a clinical turnaround to defeat India by seven wickets in the rescheduled Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday to complete their highest-ever Test run chase and level the five-match series 2-2.
Powered by Joe Root (142*) and Jonny Bairstow’s (114*) stunning centuries, England comfortably closed in on their fourth successive winning run chase under their new Test leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
England were 259/3 at stumps on the fourth day of the Covid-delayed fifth Test, needing just a further 119 runs with seven wickets in hand to reach a target of 378 on Tuesday’s last day at Edgbaston.
The Yorkshire duo who had already taken the attack to the visitors on day four continued from where they left off to stitch an unbroken 269-run partnership to finish the formalities in the first session on the final day.
In the 76.4 overs the hosts took to chase the target, India’s bowlers struggled to add more wickets to the tally and seemed to be off their lines and lengths for major part of the first session when play resumed on the final day. The field settings also allowed them to take easy singles and matters were made worse by the extras leaked by the Indian bowlers.
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Former captain Root registered his fourth century of the series in 136 deliveries and Bairstow brought up back-to-back hundreds in this match. After making 106 – his third hundred in as many Tests – in England’s first-innings 284, he scored the century of 137 deliveries in the second innings.
Before this chase, there had been only two successful fourth-innings chases above 200 in a Test at Edgbaston, with South Africa making 283/5 in 2008 and England 211/3 against New Zealand in 1999.
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(With inputs from AFP)