Ash­win puts In­dia on top in sec­ond Test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

VISAKHA­P­AT­NAM: Ravichan­dran Ash­win starred with the bat and ball to put In­dia on top in the sec­ond Test as Eng­land’s bats­men strug­gled against spin in their first in­nings re­ply on day two in Visakha­p­at­nam yes­ter­day.

Eng­land were reel­ing at 103 for five at stumps in re­sponse to In­dia’s first in­nings score of 455. The visi­tors still trail by 352 runs.

Ash­win, who scored a gritty half-cen­tury to pro­pel the In­dian score af­ter skip­per Vi­rat Kohli’s 167, claimed two wick­ets in the fi­nal ses­sion to rat­tle the Eng­lish top-or­der.

Pace spear­head Mo­hammed Shami struck early to shat­ter skip­per Alas­tair Cook’s off stump in an early blow as Eng­land be­gan their first in­nings re­ply be­fore tea.

Shami bowled an in­spired first spell with the new ball as he cleaned up Cook for two in the third over of the in­nings.

Shami’s sen­sa­tional de­liv­ery pitched on a good length be­fore mov­ing in a shade to hit the top of Cook’s off stump and break it in two, leav­ing Eng­land 4-1.

Haseeb Hameed, who im­pressed on de­but with a well-made 82 in the sec­ond in­nings of the Ra­jkot Test, put on 47 runs with Joe Root (53) in his bid to steady the in­nings.

But Hameed’s re­sis­tance did not last long as he was run out for 13 af­ter be­ing sent back while at­tempt­ing to take a sec­ond run.

Off-spin­ner Ash­win soon took charge to get Ben Duck­ett clean bowled for five and then got the big wicket of Root, who recorded his 24th Test half-cen­tury.

Root tried to counter the In­dian spin at­tack dur­ing his 98-ball stay laced with six bound­aries, but ran out of pa­tience af­ter giv­ing away a catch to long-off.

Debu­tant off-spin­ner Jayant Ya­dav joined his se­nior part­ner from the other end to get his first Test wicket af­ter trap­ping Moeen Ali lbw for one as Eng­land slipped to 80-5.

Stokes and Bairstow then played cau­tiously to see off the rest of the day’s play with a 23-run un­beaten stand.

Ear­lier Ash­win, who scored 70 in the Ra­jkot Test, con­tin­ued his good run of form with the bat be­fore the hosts were bowled out in the af­ter­noon ses­sion.

Ash­win’s fight­ing 58 came af­ter off­spin­ner Ali checked the In­dian charge with three wick­ets in the morn­ing ses­sion, in­clud­ing Kohli, who added just 16 runs to his overnight 151.

Ash­win put on 64 runs for the eighth wicket with Jayant Ya­dav, who scored 35, guid­ing In­dia to a re­spectable first in­nings score on a pitch that is ex­pected to of­fer turn as the match pro­gresses.

Kohli’s 226-run third-wicket part­ner­ship with Chetesh­war Pu­jara (119) on the open­ing day was the high­light of the In­dian in­nings af­ter the hosts elected to bat first.

— AP

VISAKHA­P­AT­NAM: In­dia’s Ravichan­dran Ash­win (2R) cel­e­brates the wicket of Eng­land’s Joe Root with cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli (L) and team­mates dur­ing the sec­ond day of the sec­ond Test cricket match be­tween In­dia and Eng­land at the Dr. Y.S. Ra­jasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Sta­dium in Vishakha­p­at­nam yes­ter­day.

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