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2nd Test: Ashwin, Bumrah scalp 3 each as India beat Eng by 106 runs, series levels 1-1 (Ld)

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2nd Test: Ashwin, Bumrah scalp 3 each as India beat Eng by 106 runs, series levels 1-1 (Ld)

Visakhapatnam, Feb 5 (IANS) Ravichandran Ashwin and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah claimed three wickets each as India beat England by 106 runs in the second Test at the Dr Cricket Stadium. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Monday, to draw. the five-game series 1-1.

England put in a valiant effort in chasing down a record 399, but chasing such a staggering target was always going to be a tough task. They showed the positivity of continuing with their super attacking approach but it was not enough as they were bowled out for 292 in 69.2 overs.

Bumrah, whose spell of 6-45 gave India a vital 171-run lead in the first innings, was again the pick of the bowlers with his spell of 3-46. Bumrah finished the Visakhapatnam Test with match figures of 9-91, which is also the second best figure for an Indian fast bowler against England. Ashwin bowled well to take 3-72 in Vizag and is now just one wicket away from reaching 500 Test scalps.

Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Mukesh Kumar took one wicket apiece as India bounced back from a 28-run defeat in Hyderabad with an emphatic win in Visakhapatnam.

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The next match of the series will be held at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot on February 15.

In the morning session, England piled up 127 runs but also lost five wickets, including top scorer Zak Crawley for 73, putting India in pole position to win the match. Initially, the Indian bowlers struggled with their lines as Crawley and Rehan Ahmed hit five boundaries between them, although the former was wary of a sharp Bumrah.

Rehan became the first wicket to fall for England in the 23rd over when he was caught at the crease by Axar. Ollie Pope hit the ground running with his sweep and reverse sweep to Axar for boundaries. Crawley hit his second fifty of the match in 83 balls after dancing across the pitch to chip Axar over mid-on for four.

Pope was at his best: sweeping, glancing and using his feet to take out three quarters of Axar. But his lively innings ended when he looked to cut with hard hands and only got a thick outside edge to the left of Rohit Sharma at first slip, who was alert enough to take a reflexive one-handed catch.

Joe Root, batting with an injured right little finger, was on the attack from the start, sweeping reverse twice in his first four balls for Ashwin’s boundaries, before hitting Axar for six. His frantic knock ended when he miscued Ashwin and the thick top edge was caught by short third man.

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Jonny Bairstow looked solid, driving Axar and sweeping Ashwin for boundaries. As Crawley hit Ashwin down the ground for four, Bairstow clipped the spinner for a boundary. Bumrah’s return didn’t deter Bairstow, who took extra cover and punched for two fours.

But the momentum swung back in India’s favor in the final ten minutes before lunch. Crawley was caught lbw in the back against Kuldeep Yadav, with replays showing the ball hitting leg-spin. Bumrah ended the session when Bairstow was caught lbw by his defender, with the review showing that the ball clipped the top of the leg stump.

The first 20 minutes of the second session saw captain Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes biding their time against the Bumrah-Kuldeep pair. But Foakes was quick to get two boundaries off Bumrah – cutting through mid-wicket and edging between slip and gully.

A comical fielding mistake gave Stokes a boundary with Kuldeep Yadav, but Shreyas Iyer’s direct hit from mid-on saw the England skipper fall for 11 off 29 balls. Foakes had an inside edge going towards the leg side, but with hesitation and causal running between the wickets, Iyer’s one-handed delivery caught Stokes inches from his crease.

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That finish ended hopes of a miracle winner from Stokes, as well as England’s chances of an unlikely victory. Foakes and Tom Hartley dug deep to put up a challenging 55-run stand for the eighth wicket. The duo mixed defending and hitting boundaries whenever a bad ball came, with a total of six fours and two sixes.

Bumrah broke the partnership when Ben Foakes returned his slower cutter to complete a return catch on his own bowling. Finally, Mukesh got a wicket when Shoaib Bashir cut to wicketkeeper KS Bharat. Bumrah ended the match by bowling Hartley to seal a convincing win for India.

Brief scores: India 396 and 255 beat England 253 and 292 in 69.2 overs (Zak Crawley 73, Tom Hartley 36; Jasprit Bumrah 3-46, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-72) by 106 runs.

— IANS

no./bc

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