England’s valiant run chase falls short of glory as India draw level in Vizag

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Jasprit Bumrah was adjudged the Player of the Match (POTM) and the five-match series is now tied at 1-1, with three matches still left to be played. The next Test will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot from February 15 onwards.

England’s Bazball approach failed to pay dividends on the second consecutive occasion as India defeated them in the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 106 runs to square the five-match series 1-1. The visitors began day four with their overnight score of 67 for the loss of one wicket and needed 332 to register their highest successful run chase in Test cricket.

Both opener Zak Crawley and nighthawk Rehan Ahmed added 45 runs for the second wicket before luck turned India’s way and Axar Patel provided the first breakthrough of the day for the home side.

Axar trapped Rehan in front of his stumps to slow down England’s momentum. The next one to follow Rehan was the star for England in the previous Test – Ollie Pope. Pope was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin as India’s skipper Rohit Sharma grabbed a spectacular catch at first slip to complete the dismissal.

Pope’s dismissal brought the injured Joe Root to the crease and the former England skipper showed intent from the get-go. He employed a reverse sweep on his very first delivery to get a boundary.

However, he didn’t hang around for long as Ashwin got the better of him eventually. The other English batters, Jonny Bairstow and captain Ben Stokes tried to throw some punches but couldn’t last long enough to threaten the life out of the home side.

While Bairstow was pinned in front of his stumps by Jasprit Bumrah, Stokes was unfortunate to get run out by Shreyas Iyer.

Stokes’ wicket reduced England to 220/7 and it seemed that the end was near but a courageous 55-run stand between their wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (36 runs off 69 balls) and Tom Hartley (36 runs off 47 balls) delayed the inevitable for some time.

Desperate for the breakthrough, the India captain brought Bumrah back and the pace spearhead delivered. Bumrah bowled a well-disguised slower one and Foakes ended up lobbing it straight back at him. The Indian pacer safely pouched the opportunity and ended England’s hopes of making it 2-0.

Mukesh dismissed Shoaib Bashir to grab his maiden wicket of the game and Bumrah disturbed the furniture of Hartley to end his resistance and seal the game in the hosts’ favour.

 

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