• Monday, February 26, 2024

CRICKET

Bumrah stars as India down England to level Test series

Cricket – Second Test – India v England – Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam, India – February 5, 2024 India’s Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with Rohit Sharma and teammates after taking the wicket of England’s Tom Hartley to win the second Test REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

By: Pramod Thomas

FAST BOWLER Jasprit Bumrah took a match haul of nine wickets to lead India’s 106-run win over England in the second Test on Monday (5) and level the five-match series.

Chasing a record 399 for victory, England were bowled for 292 in the second session on day four in Visakhapatnam, despite an attacking start and Zak Crawley’s 73.

Bumrah and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who ended the match on 499 Test wickets, took three each in the final innings and the pace spearhead bowled Tom Hartley to complete the win.

Shubman Gill set up the comeback victory for the hosts with his 104 on day three to set England, who won the opener, a daunting target.

England came out swinging with their “Bazball” brand of cricket, Crawley and company hitting boundaries despite losing wickets.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel broke through when he trapped Rehan Ahmed lbw for 23, after the nightwatchman hit five fours in his 31-ball knock.

Ollie Pope hammered five boundaries in his brief stay at the wicket, before Ashwin had him caught at slip on 23.

Joe Root showed no signs of the finger injury which kept him out of the field for much of Sunday (4) as he reverse-swept for two fours.

But he fell for 16 while attempting a slog off Ashwin, who remains one away from entering the 500-wicket club.

The chase soon lost steam with two wickets in five balls before lunch, including Crawley out lbw off left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

The lbw appeal was turned down by the on-field umpire but India successfully reviewed the call.

Jonny Bairstow followed just four balls later, with England at 194-6.

Captain Ben Stokes attempted to get the chase back on track after lunch, but a direct hit by Shreyas Iyer had the left-hander run out on 11 after he looked to steal a quick single.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes (36) and the left-handed Hartley (also 36) put on a stubborn stand of 55 but Bumrah broke through to get Foakes caught and bowled.

But the Three Lions stuck to their fearless style, which has got them 14 wins in 20 matches under coach Brendon McCullum, nicknamed “Baz”, and Stokes.

Bumrah played a key role with his six wickets in England’s first-innings total of 253 as the tourists conceded a crucial lead of 143.

Veteran England pace bowler James Anderson finished with a match haul of five wickets to take his tally to 695 in a glittering Test career, which began in 2003.

The third Test starts February 15 in Rajkot and the teams will take a break beforehand, with England expected to fly to the United Arab Emirates for the week.

(AFP)

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