Birmingham [India], Aug 04: India bowled England out for 180 on the third day of the ongoing first Test match in Edgbaston Cricket Ground, and followed up with scoring 110 runs for the loss of five wickets to leave them 84 runs away from a historic win.
England started the day having lost opener Alastair Cook to spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who initiated the England batting order’s implosion by scalping the wicket of the other opener Keaton Jennings.
The left-handed batsman, the kind Ashwin favours bowling to, was again beaten by the dip as he took up a defensive stance, edging it for K. L. Rahul to comfortably gather.
English skipper Joe Root was next to fall as he looked to paddle an off-break ball from Ashwin down to fine leg, although, he directed it straight down the throat of Rahul at leg slip.
England were rocked at 39 for the loss of 3 wickets, with their best batsman already back in the pavilion. David Malan and Jonny Bairstow looked set to steady the ship thereafter, but having scored 20 from 64 and 28 from 40 deliveries respectively, both the middle-order batsmen edged deliveries from an on-fire Ishant Sharma to the slips to quash any such hopes.
The slump continued as Sharma then scalped the dangerous Ben Stokes and Joss Buttler in similar fashion, for the scoreline to read 87 for 7, with the lanky seamer exercising discipline over his line and length, and exploiting the swinging English conditions to dismantle the English middle order.
Bowling all-rounder Sam Curran mounted a considerable fight towards the end, although not without a slice of luck as several of his edges flew away from the slips to the boundary rope.
Although Adil Rashid got his stumps knocked over by Umesh Yadav, and Sharma got Stuart Broad to edge a delivery to Shikhar Dhawan, Curran continued his counter-attack, smashing two sixes and nine boundaries on his way to scoring a vital 63 from 65 balls, before he edged a Yadav delivery to keeper Dinesh Karthik.
Indian openers Murali Vijay and Dhawan walked out, with a target of 194 to chase down in two days’ time. Vijay was dropped by Malan early on as he edged a delivery from Broad to the slips. The drop, however, did not cost the home side much as Vijay was soon dismissed by Broad as he was misjudged a leave and was adjudged LBW.
Broad then dismissed Dhawan with a fullish out-swinging delivery outside off, which Dhawan knicked for keeper Buttler to gather.
In walked Indian skipper Virat Kohli and looked composed from the very start of his innings, picking up from where he had left in the first innings. And much like the first innings batsmen at the other end did not stick around him for very long, with Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal coming in between Rahul’s and Ashwin’s.
Kohli and Karthik weathered the remainder of the storm and finished the day’s play with the scoreboard reading 110 for the loss of five wickets, the visitors needing a further 84 runs and the home side needing five wickets to register their first win in the five-match series.