Ashwin Scores 106, At Stumps, Eng 53/3 in 482-Run Chase on Day 3
Live updates from Day 3 of the Chennai Test between India and England.
R Ashwin (106) put in a brilliant performance on Day 3 with the bat against England in Chennai as he scored his 5th Test century, in difficult batting conditions, and then picked the wicket of opener Rory Burns for 25 to drive India into a commanding position in the contest.
Debutant Axar Patel picked the wickets of Dom Sibley and Jack Leach to help knock over 3 England wickets as they finished with the score at 53/3, 419 runs behind.
India’s with Ashwin’s century, captain Virat Kohli’s 62 and some lusty blows by Mohammed Siraj (16) set England a massive 482-run target.
For England, Jack Leach and Moeen Ali were the pick of the bowlers with four wickets a piece.
India -- who had lost the wicket of Shubman Gill (14) on Day Two -- lost five wickets in the morning session before Kohli and Ashwin steadied the ship. Kohli and Ashwin put on 96-runs for the 7th wicket before Siraj and the spinner added 49 for the final wicket, the top two partnerships in the innings.
Overnight batsmen Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara started the day with India’s score 54/1 but Pujara’s stay at the crease ended in the first over itself, run out on 7.
Rohit Sharma then had Virat Kohli for company out in the middle but their partnership lasted just 13 deliveries before the opener was stumped by England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes off a Jack Leach delivery.
Rishabh Pant, who was sent ahead of Ajinkya Rahane, tried to play in his usual flambouyant style. But Pant's stay was cut short after he tried to hit a maximum against Leach and instead was out stumped by Foakes, who is celebrating his 28th birthday on Monday. The left-handed batsman scored 8 runs off the 11 balls he faced.
Rahane (10), who came to bat at No. 6, hit a couple of boundaries and looked in good touch until he was caught brilliantly by Ollie Pope who took a diving catch at short leg to bring an end to the Indian batsman's inning.
Debutant Axar Patel then shared a 21-run stand with skipper Kohli before he was out lbw against Moeen Ali. Patel scored seven runs in 18 balls he faced during the course of his innings.
However, Ashwin -- who starred with the ball in the first innings picking up his 29th five-wicket Test-haul -- then shared an unbeaten 50-run stand with Kohli and made sure the hosts didn't lose any further wickets going into the lunch break. The duo scored runs at a brisk pace and steadied the ship after a flurry of wickets in the morning on a wearing Chepauk pitch.
After the break, India continued to chip away and make the visitors toil. Kohli, who had been batting brilliantly, soon completed his half century. A little while later, Ashwin countered Olly Stone’s short ball strategy with some improvised shots, flat-batting him through cover to bring up his half-century as well.
There was some relief for England just after the drinks break as Moeen Ali struck and trapped Kohli LBW for a very well-made 62. Kohli, who had been cleaned up by Ali in the first innings as well, was looking good and reviewed the decision in vain.
Kohli and Ashwin put on 96 runs for the seventh wicket as the hosts made the visitors toil.
In his very next over, Ali struck again to pick his fourth wicket of the innings when he had Kuldeep Yadav trapped LBW for 3.
Ishant Sharma joined Ashwin in the final phase of the second session and dropped anchor at his end. At Tea, Ashwin with an unbeaten 68 was the top scorer in the innings with India’s lead well above 400. Ishant departed for 7 as he looked to attack Leach.
In walked Mohammed Siraj and held on at one end as Ashwin completed a brilliant century with a six and then a boundary of Moeen Ali. Siraj smacked a couple of huge sixes after that Ashwin fell on 106, dragging one on to his stumps from Olly Stone.
India finished with 286 and set England a 482-run target in the Test.
In response, England, with an hour to go till stumps, lost their first wicket in the 9th over when Axar Patel trapped Dom Sibley LBW for 3 with the score at 17/1.
Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence tried keep India’s spinners at bay, but Ashwin struck in 16th over. Burns edging it to Kohli in the slips as England were reduced to 49/2.
In the very next over, Axar struck again as night-watchman Jack Leach was caught sharply for 0 off the first ball he faced by Rohit Sharma. England at 50/3 had Joe Root joining Lawrence in the middle.
Root then survived a contentious LBW call in the final over of the day against Axar Patel as England finished with the score at 53/3, 419 runs behind the target.
India had posted 329 runs in their first innings. The hosts then bowled out England for 134, securing a 195-run lead.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.