In­dia brush aside Eng­land for 2-0 lead

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

In­dia reg­is­tered a com­pre­hen­sive eight-wicket win over Eng­land in the third Test in Mohali and went up 2-0 in the five-match se­ries. The hosts fin­ished at 104-2 in 20.2 overs, chas­ing down the 103-run tar­get with res­o­lute ease. With two tests to play, In­dia has out­played Eng­land so far on tour.

Parthiv Pa­tel struck his fifth test half-cen­tury and spear­headed the short run-chase af­ter tea. He was un­beaten on 67 runs at the end, fac­ing 54 de­liv­er­ies in all, hit­ting 11 fours and a six.

He put on 81 runs for the sec­ond wicket with Chetesh­war Pu­jara (25). Their 50-part­ner­ship came off 62 balls. Pa­tel reached his half-cen­tury off only 39 balls. In­dian skip­per Virat Kohli was full of praise for the 31-year-old who was called up as re­place­ment for in­jured keeper Wrid­dhi­man Saha.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Pa­tel was also asked to open the in­nings when Lokesh Rahul was ruled out at the last minute. “The in­tent he showed in both in­nings just de­flated the op­po­si­tion. Credit to him to go out there and counter at­tack, and take on their pac­ers. I think he re­ally stood out in this game for me as a bats­man. As a keeper as well he did well too,” said Kohli.

With the fin­ish line in sight, Pu­jara was out caught sweep­ing off Adil Rashid (1-28). Pa­tel and Kohli (6 not out) then com­pleted the for­mal­i­ties with­out any fuss. This was af­ter a brave half-cen­tury by in­jured Haseeb Hameed helped Eng­land fin­ish their sec­ond in­nings at 236.

Alas­tair Cook con­firmed that Hameed has a bro­ken fin­ger in his left hand, and is out of the re­main­ing two tests. He will be fly­ing home to Eng­land and a re­place­ment will be named shortly. In the morn­ing ses­sion, Joe Root (78) scored a gritty half-cen­tury, fac­ing 179 balls and scor­ing six bound­aries. Start­ing from overnight 78-4, Root looked to bat for time. Jos But­tler (18) counter-at­tacked at the other end, and hit one four as well as a six in his 18-ball stay.

But­tler put on 29 runs for the sixth wicket with Root. He then holed out to long on off Jayant Ya­dav (2-21). Hameed and Root put on 45 runs for the sev­enth wicket. Just be­fore lunch, In­dia got the big wicket.

Ravin­dra Jadeja (2-62) ended Root’s re­sis­tance, caught at slip by Ajinkya Ra­hane, the fielder pulling off a su­perb one-handed catch to his left. Hameed and Chris Woakes (30) then put on 43 runs for the eighth wicket. Woakes was dis­missed caught be­hind af­ter In­dia took the sec­ond new ball.

Mo­hammed Shami (2-37) hit Woakes on the hel­met in the 84th over, but the bats­man was un­hurt. He was dis­missed off the next ball, fend­ing an­other short ball.

Two balls later, Adil Rashid (0) was caught at fine leg, pulling an­other short de­liv­ery from Shami. Hameed then changed gears. He had scored only 17 runs off the first 117 balls he had faced. There­after he scored 33 off 37 to reach his sec­ond test half-cen­tury. In all, Hameed scored 59 not out and hit six fours as well as a six in his 156-ball stay span­ning just short of three hours.

In­dian play­ers had shaken his hand at the end of the Eng­land in­nings. Later, both cap­tains paid trib­ute to the man­ner in which the young­ster bat­ted.

“He’s showed great char­ac­ter for a 19-year old at this level. He put his hand up when his team wanted him to do it,” said Kohli. Alas­tair Cook con­firmed that Hameed has a bro­ken fin­ger in his left hand, and is out of the re­main­ing two tests. He will be fly­ing home to Eng­land and a re­place­ment will be named shortly.

“He has got a bro­ken hand and needs a plate within it to fix it. It’s ob­vi­ously un­lucky for a young­ster who im­pressed us all with his tech­nique and tal­ent, and ob­vi­ously now with his brav­ery and de­ter­mi­na­tion.

When he’s play­ing for Eng­land, he’ll do any­thing to get out there. To play like that was a very special knock,” said Cook. Hameed put on 41 runs for the tenth wicket with An­der­son (5), who was run-out by Jadeja (2-62) with a throw from the deep. Ravichan­dran Ash­win (3-81) and Jayant Ya­dav (2-21) shared five wick­ets.

In­dia are now un­beaten in five home Tests this sea­son, and have stretched their un­beaten streak to Galle (Sri Lanka, 2015). Since then, un­der Kohli, In­dia have not tasted de­feat in 16 con­sec­u­tive Tests.

“When you are put in trou­ble af­ter los­ing the toss on a good wicket, the bowlers stand up. Then on day two, you are 156-5 and then your lower or­der steps up. So those two days, in­clud­ing the third day, were very pleas­ing for me as cap­tain. Our con­fi­dence went up re­ally high even in the sec­ond in­nings when we came out with the ball,” said Kohli.

Mean­while, Cook lamented the missed chances for his side, in par­tic­u­lar the low score af­ter win­ning the toss and opt­ing to bat on a fresh pitch.

“We were be­hind the game in the first in­nings. We were not good enough. No magic balls were being bowled re­ally. What we did is we showed good char­ac­ter to drag our­selves back in but in this part of the world you need a big score, cer­tainly on a wicket like that. There is no hid­ing be­hind it.

We were not good enough to do that,” he said. In­dia won the sec­ond Test in Visakha­p­at­nam by 246 runs. The first test in Ra­jkot was drawn. The third test be­gins in Mumbai on De­cem­ber 8. — AP

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