Ind vs Eng, 1st Test Day 4 | Advantage England despite stellar shows by Washington and Ashwin

England players celebrating the wicket of Rohit Sharma during the 3rd day of first cricket Test match between India and England, at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on February 7.

England players celebrating the wicket of Rohit Sharma during the 3rd day of first cricket Test match between India and England, at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on February 7.

Washington Sundar delighted with an exhibition of high quality batting in the morning, timing the ball like a dream on a challenging surface.

He belongs to this stage.

Then, the wily R. Ashwin bowled with craft, exploiting a wearing surface, harnessing the angles, getting the ball to turn and bounce, and finishing with six wickets even as the Englishmen, seeking quick runs, adopted a confused ‘start-stop’ approach.

Despite the double punch from the Chennai duo on home turf — Washington made 85 not out and Ashwin grabbed six for 61 — England held the aces going into the final day of the first Test here.


Massive lead

Set a target of 420 after trailing in the first innings by a massive 241, India lost Rohit Sharma, bowled by left-armer Jack Leach. The delivery pitched middle, turned, and hit off. At stumps on Monday, the host was 39 for one at Chepauk.

When England batted again, Ashwin struck with the innings’ first delivery, spinning one away from left-hander Rory Burns after drawing him forward.

He went round the wicket, spun one, and got Dom Sibley, taken at leg-slip.

And southpaw Ben Stokes edged a sharply turning delivery from Ashwin to ’keeper Rishabh Pant who pouched it with agility.

Only the in-form Joe Root stroked with any fluency for his 40 before he was trapped leg-before by a Bumrah delivery that kept low.

Ishant Sharma had earlier brought one back into Dan Lawrence for his 300th Test wicket.

There were more wickets for Ashwin as England failed to achieve the desired acceleration.

Lazy elegance

In the morning, Washington held centre-stage. On view were poise, balance and a distinctive quality some left-handers possess — lazy elegance.

Actually, it’s a lot about picking the length early and making subtle adjustments in footwork that creates more time for the batsman and makes his response appear relaxed and languid.

He possesses a pronounced back-lift but the willow, importantly, comes down straight. A forward press Washington has, but can so easily shift his weight to his back leg.

And then, he has the gift of timing. On occasions he appeared to be just pushing the ball but the sphere raced to the fence. Classy, he certainly is. Crucially, his head position is still — indication of the distribution of weight — as he strokes the ball.

He opened the field on the off-side with the ball’s length dictating his footwork.

When Dom Bess pitched short, he went back and smoked him through cover-point. When he bowled fuller Washington eased him off the front foot.

And he flashed Leach past covers to reach his second half-century in only his second Test.

Crucial stand

Washington and Ashwin (31) added 80 crucial runs for the seventh wicket; Ashwin drove handsomely.

Leach, bowling with the harder second new ball, took out Ashwin with extra bounce; ’keeper Jos Buttler diving forward to snaffle a fine catch.

Even as Washington stroked with consummate ease, Leach and Anderson cleaned up the Indian tail.

The final day should be a gripping affair.

Day four scoreboard

England (Ist inngs): 578.

India (Ist inngs): Rohit Sharma c Buttler b Archer 6 (9b, 1x4), Shubman Gill c Anderson b Archer 29 (28b, 5x4), Cheteshwar Pujara c Burns b Bess 73 (143b, 11x4), Virat Kohli c Pope b Bess 11 (48b), Ajinkya Rahane c Root b Bess 1 (6b), Rishabh Pant c Leach b Bess 91 (88b, 9x4, 5x6), Washington Sundar (not out) 85 (138b, 12x4, 2x6), R. Ashwin c Buttler b Leach 31 (91b, 3x4, 1x6), Shahbaz Nadeen c Stokes b Leach 0 (12b), Ishant Sharma c Pope b Anderson 4 (11b, 1x4), Jasprit Bumrah c Stokes b Anderson 0 (2b), Extras (b-4, lb-1, nb-1) 6, (all out in 95.5 overs) 337.

Fall of wkts: 1-19 (Rohit, 3.3), 2-44 (Gill, 9.2), 3-71 (Kohli, 24.4), 4-73 (Rahane, 26.3), 5-192 (Pujara, 50.4), 6-225 (Pant, 55.4). 6-225 (Pant, 56.4), 7-305 (Ashwin, 86.2), 8-312 (Nadeem, 90.5), 9-323 (Ishant, 93.5).

England bowling: Anderson 16.5-5-46-2, Archer 21-3-75-2, Stokes 6-1-16-0, Leach 24-5-105-2, Bess 26-6-76-4, Root 2-0-14-0.

England (IInd inngs): Rory Burns c Rahane b Ashwin 0 (1b), Dom Sibley c Pujara b Ashwin 16 (37b, 2x4), Dan Lawrence lbw b Ishant Sharma 18 (47b, 1x4), Joe Root lbw b Bumrah 40 (32b, 7x4), Ben Stokes c Pant b Ashwin 7 (12b, 1x4), Ollie Pope c Rohit b Nadeem 28 (32b, 3x4), Jos Buttler st Pant b Nadeem (40b, 2x4, 1x6), Dom Bess lbw b Ashwin 25 (55b, 3x4), Jofra Archer b Ashwin 5 (10b), Jack Leach (not out) 8 (18b, 2x4), James Anderson c & b Ashwin 0 (2b), Extras, (nb-7) 7, Total (all out in 46.3 overs) 178.

Fall of wkts: 1-0 (Burns, 0.1), 2-32 (Sibley, 10.6), 3-58 (Lawrence, 15.3), 4-71 (Stokes, 18.1), 5-101 (Root, 23.5), 6-130 (Pope, 28.4), 7-165 (Buttler, 41.2), 8-167 (Bess, 42.1), 9-178 (Archer, 46.1).

India bowling: Ashwin 17.3-2-61-6, Nadeem 15-2-66-2, Ishant 7-1-24-1, Bumrah 6-0-26-1, Washington 1-0-1-0.

India (IInd innings): Rohit Sharma b Leach 12 (20b, 1x4, 1x6), Shubman Gill (batting) 15 (35b, 3x4), Cheteshwar Pujara (batting) 12 (23b, 1x4), Total (for one wkt in 13 overs) 39.

Fall of wkt: 1-25 (Rohit, 5.3).

England bowling: Archer 3-2-13-0, Leach 6-1-21-1, Anderson 2-1-2-0, Bess 2-0-3-0.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 12:16:44 am |