India on Monday secured a 106-run win against England in the second Test to level the five-match series 1-1.
Chasing a record 399 to take a 2-0 lead, Ben Stokes’s side were bowled out for 292 just before tea on Day 4 at the ACA-VDCA stadium in Visakhapatnam. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three wickets apiece for the home team.
Despite facing the daunting task of chasing down a record target, England, with their ‘Bazball’ approach came out all guns blazing on day four.
Opener Zak Crawley and Rehan Ahmed started the day strongly with the latter charging down to Axar Patel on the first ball he faced. Ahmed hit Patel for three boundaries before the Indian spinner trapped him in front of the wicket.
Ollie Pope, England’s match winner in the first Test, continued with the aggressive approach scoring 20 of his 23 runs from boundaries. However, Rohit Sharma took an excellent catch at first slip to get rid of him.
Joe Root showed no signs of nursing an injured finger hitting two boundaries off his first three balls against Ashwin before hitting Patel for a six down the ground. However, the veteran off-spinner had the last laugh after Root charged down once again only to slice the ball to Patel at backward point.
At the other end, Crawley kept the scoreboard ticking and brought up his second half century of the match. He was joined by Bairstow in the middle and the pair stitched a 40-run stand at brisk pace.
England would have loved to have go to lunch with half the target chased down and with six wickets intact.
The match, however, was turned around in the span of a couple of overs just before lunch.
Kuldeep Yadav struck Crawley’s pads with a straighter delivery. Umpire Marais Erasmus was unmoved before Yadav convinced Sharma to review the decision.
Though at first glance it looked like the delivery would have missed the leg stump, ball tracking showed that the ball would have crashed onto the stumps, sparking wild celebrations from Yadav.
Jasprit Bumrah supplied the sucker punch in the next over by trapping Bairstow in front of wicket as England went into lunch stuttering at 194/6.
Captain Ben Stokes departed soon after lunch to all but end England’s hopes of an unlikely win. The England captain was uncharacteristically slow to take off for a run and Shreyas Iyer punished him with a superb direct hit from short-midwicket.
Ben Foakes and Tom Hartley led a mini fightback putting up 55 runs for the eighth wicket before Bumrah ended the partnership with a brilliant catch off his own bowling to get rid of Foakes.
Mukesh Kumar got his wicket first of the innings soon after as he had Shoaib Bashir caught behind, before Bumrah wrapped things up by knocking over Hartely’s stumps.