India Win England Test Series 3-1, Axar & Ashwin Complete Fifers
India won by an innings & 25 runs in the 4th Test vs England, going on to clinch a spot in the WTC Final against NZ.
India’s spinners continued to haunt the England batsmen with Axar Patel and R Ashwin both picking fifers to help the hosts win the fourth Test by and innings and 25 runs. India’s win means they have won the Test series 3-1 and have also qualified for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
Dom Bess (2), who was caught superbly by Rishabh Pant was Axar’s fifth scalp while Ashwin made Dan Lawrence (50) his to complete the comprehensive win.
After Rishabh Pant’s century on Day 2, Washington Sundar (96) and Axar Patel (43) piled on the misery for the England bowlers on Day 3, adding 71 runs and taking the lead to 160 as India were bowled out for 365 at the Narendra Modi Stadium
England desperately needing their top order to fire but ran into the Indian spinners right after lunch as Ashwin had Zak Crawly bamboozled before sending Jonny Bairstow packing of the next ball. Soon after, Axar Patel got into the act with the scalps of Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope.
India, who began the day with a lead of 89 runs, had Sundar and Axar taking the attack to the spinners. The duo continued to frustrate England and went on to complete the second consecutive century partnership of the innings.
Sundar, who started the day with 60 to his name, got his first runs of the day with a six and a four of Dom Bess, which stretched India’s lead over 100, as England’s bowlers continued to feel the heat.
With India looking set for a bigger score than they eventually registered, Axar was runout in 113th over when he tried to steal a single to mid-on and was sent back.
Off the next over, Stokes packed off Ishant Sharma of the first delivery before wrapping up the innings with the wicket of Mohammed Siraj, also for a 0.
India, with four ducks in the line-up, were bowled out just before lunch with a healthy lead of 160. James Anderson picked 3 wickets while Stokes took 4 and Jack Leach had 2 to boast off.
Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley took England safely to Lunch, playing out three overs before disaster struck right after the break.
Ashwin dismissed Crawley, caught at slip by Rahane for 5, and then had Jonny Bairstow guiding it into the hands of Rohit Sharma at leg slip of the next delivery.
England captain Joe Root negotiated the hat-trick delivery as Sibley looked on from the other end. Sibley however could not provide much support to his skipper and will consider himself a tad bit unlucky for his dismissal. Sibley swept hard off Axar and it ricocheted off short-leg into the hands of Pant, who completed a simple catch.
Ben Stokes kept up with the trend of quick dismissals as he swept Axar right into Virat Kohli’s hands at leg gully. Stokes departed for 5.
Ollie Pope, whose struggles against spin has been well documented, was the fifth wicket to fall as he danced down the track looking to attack Axar but was stumped by Pant for 15. If things weren’t bad enough already, Root was the next to depart when he was caught on the crease by Ashwin and trapped LBW for 30 - the last of 6 wickets to fall in the afternoon.
Dan Lawrence and Ben Foakes weren’t very comfortable against the spinners too and managed to hold out till half an hour into the final session before the wicket-keeper batsman edged one to Ajinkya Rahane, who took a sharp catch at first slip. Foakes departed for 13 as Axar picked his fourth wicket.
An Ashwin maiden followed after which the left arm spinner dismissed Dom Bess for 2, in the process claiming his fourth five-wicket haul in 3 Tests.
Jack Leach and Lawrence resisted for a while against the dominant spinners before Ashwin dismissed them both to complete his five-wicket haul as well and India wrapped a resounding win on the third day.
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