India crush England, level series

The win takes India to the second spot on the World Test Championship points table…reports Asian Lite News

Debutant left-arm spinner Axar Patel’s five-wicket haul in England’s second innings — coupled with Ravichandran Ashwin’s all-round performance — made India’s job easy as they registered a commanding 317-run win in the second Test on Tuesday, and level the four-match series 1-1.

The win takes India to the second spot on the World Test Championship points table. India need one more win in this series to seal a spot in the final that will be played in June at Lord’s, London, in England. New Zealand have already qualified for the final.

This defeat broke England win steak overseas. They had won six consecutive Tests, including two in Sri Lanka, from where they came to India straightaway, and won the first Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Chasing a target of 482 runs for victory, England were all out for 164 in 54.2 overs in the second session of the fourth day of the five-day match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. Moeen Ali was the top scorer with an 18-ball 43, though it came when everything was lost for England. Captain Joe Root’s dogged 92-ball 33 was the next best score.

Earlier, India, after captain Virat Kohli won the toss, had scored 329 in their first innings, thanks to Rohit Sharma’s century. Ashwin then captured five wickets to bundle out England for a mere 134, to help India take a huge 195-run lead. In the second innings, Ashwin shone with the bat, too, as he hammered his fifth century in India’s second-innings’ 286, which set a gigantic task for Root’s team.

England had won the first Test at the same venue on February 9. The third day-night Test begins in Ahmedabad on February 24. The fourth Test will also be played there.

Ashwin was the hero of India’s win as he scored a century and captured eight wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

On Tuesday, Axar dismissed England captain Joe Root (33 off 92 balls) early in the second session on Tuesday to all but end the visitors’ negligible chances of saving the Test in more than two days’ play left.

While all-rounder Moeen Ali put up a quickfire 38-run stand with Stuart Broad (5 not out) for the last wicket, he eventually fell to Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who ended England’s second innings with two wickets. Moeen hit three fours and five sixes in his 18-ball 43.

Axar ended up with figures of 5/60, following up on his first innings figures of 2/40. Ashwin took three wickets for 53 runs, squaring off a stellar showing in the Test in which he returned figures of 5/43 in the first innings and scored his fifth century.

England had earlier won the first Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium by 227 runs.

Brief scores: India 329 and 286 (Ravichandran Ashwin 106, Virat Kohli 62; Moeen Ali 4/98) beat England 134 and 164 (Moeen Ali 43, Joe Root 33; Axar Patel 5/60, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/53) by 317 runs

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