India Win England Test Series, Qualify for World Test C’ship Final
India have beaten England and won the Test series 3-1.
England’s second innings ended on a meagre 135 in the last hour of play on Day 3 of the fourth Test at Ahmedabad, as India closed a historic series victory, also qualifying for this summer’s first-ever World Test Championship final.
After India was bowled out for 365 in their first innings earlier in the day, England managed to score just 135 with both Axar Patel and R Ashwin completing fifers to hand the visitors the defeat by an innings and 25 runs.
For England, the lone half-century came from Daniel Lawrence (50, 95 balls, 6x4s).
Virat Kohli’s team have won the four match series 3-1.
Earlier on Saturday, Washington Sundar was left stranded on 96 as he ran out of partners when India were bowled out for 365. England had scored 205 in their first innings.
India had started the day on the overnight score of 294/7 after Rishabh Pant’s century on Friday had tilted the scales in favour of the hosts. The overnight batters were Sundar, who was on 60, and Axar Patel who was on 11. The pair batted for 91 minutes on Saturday morning and frustrated England for 20.4 overs to take the game further away. They added 103 runs to the team’s tally before Patel was run out on 43.
Ishant and Siraj were next but both lost their wickets within four deliveries of each other as Sundar was left just four runs short of his personal milestone. He faced 174 balls and hit 10 boundaries and one six, and remained unbeaten, missing what would have been his first Test century.
For England, Ben Stokes took four wickets and James Anderson three.
India’s 160-run lead proved too much for England, who had to face 67 overs on the third day and they succumbed under pressure even though the surface didn't play as many tricks as the ones during the previous two Tests.
Between lunch and tea, India picked six wickets - three each by R. Ashwin and Axar Patel as England, starting the post-lunch session at 6/0, went to tea at 91/6.
Their captain and batting mainstay Joe Root, who has failed to get even one fifty after his double century in the first Test, was also dismissed in the second session for 30 and with his dismissal, England's hopes of making a match dissipated into thin air.
To the Indian bowlers' credit, they maintained a tight line, not giving any room as England tried their best to get away but just couldn't find any shot or area to score runs consistently.
Patel took a couple more wickets soon after tea to complete his fourth five-wicket haul in three Test matches. This was his third five-wicket haul in the two Tests at his home venue in Motera. His series haul stood at 27 in three Tests while Ashwin's haul was 32 scalps in four Tests. Ashwin took his third fifer in the series on Saturday.
"I thought on this pitch - unlike the previous two pitches - you had to vary your pace a bit to get wickets," said Patel after the match.
By the time the day meandered to an end and the shadows lengthened it was only the little-known Daniel Lawrence who was giving a tutorial to the other England players on how to play spin. After his 46 in the first innings, he made 50 -- his half-century coming off 93 balls, in the second, trying to give England some consolation of making India bat again. With no support he failed.
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