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Pink-ball Test: India beat England by 10 wickets, take 2-1 lead in series

Sports Lounge Staff

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Ashwin 400

Ahmedabad: India defeated England by 10 wickets in the Pink-ball Test to take a 2-1 lead in the four match series against England at Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Set a target of 49 runs, India openers Rohit Sharma (25 not out) and Shubman Gill (15 not out) led India to victory.

Earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin completed his tally of 400 Test wickets as Indian spinners bundled out England for 81 runs in the second innings to leave visitors with a victory target of 49 runs on Day 2 of the day-night Test.

Ashwin became only the sixth spinner in the world and the fourth Indian overall to take 400 Test wickets when he dismissed Jofra Archer.

The off-spinner picked 4 for 48, while left-arm spinner Axar Patel took 5 for 32 to complete a match haul of 11 for 70 as England batting line-up collapsed like a house of cards.

Earlier, Joe Root’s magical spell of off-breaks triggered a sudden collapse as India were caught in their own web of spin to be shot out for a meagre 145.

The England skipper produced his career-best figures of 6.2-3-8-5, engineering a remarkable turnaround assisted by left-arm orthodox Jack Leach (4/54 in 20 overs).

India lost as many as seven wickets for only 31 runs after looking solid at 114 for 3 at one stage in the game.

India would be happy despite a small 33-run lead, factoring in the ever-deteriorating pitch conditions as the match in all likelihood would end on Friday.

It would now be a game of one innings on a batsman’s graveyard with off-break bowlers getting turn and bounce from the rough and left-arm orthodox firing deliveries with the angle.

Rohit Sharma (66, 96 balls) was in supreme form till he was around but another cheap dismissal of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (1) off Leach changed the course of events.

Rahane, who has never had much success against slow left arm bowlers, was rapped on the pads as Leach fired one in and it was not much of an issue for umpire Nitin Menon to adjudge him leg before.

Suddenly, a pitch, on which India looked way more comfortable, started to challenge and just like England in the second session on the first evening, the Indians wilted under pressure.

Rohit missed a sweep off Leach and Menon’s decision was retained as per Umpires’ Call.

Once Rohit was gone, it was time for Root to enter the scene and do a Michael Clarke (6/9 with his left arm orthodox in Mumbai 2004) as Rishabh Pant (1), Washington Sundar (0) and Axar Patel (0) were accounted for in quick succession.

At one point, Root’s figures were 3-3-0-3 as he exploited the friendly conditions, repeatedly hitting the rough which helped him dismiss three left-handers in succession.

Ravichandran Ashwin (17) and Ishant Sharma (10 not out), who hit his first ever six in his 100th Test appearance, scored a few which can prove to be priceless in the end.

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