The Hindu (Mumbai)

Ashwin’s 500th Test scalp takes centrestag­e on engrossing day

India swells its total to 445; debutant Jurel scores 46, while Wood finishes with a fourwicket haul; opener Duckett’s aggressive, unbeaten century helps England reach 207 for two; Ashwin withdraws from Test for family emergency

- Amol Karhadkar

hen a feature film that trudges along till the interval and suddenly picks up pace, and even has a memorable scene and a great climax, seldom has takers. That’s where live sport differs from a work of fiction. The same was on display in plenty on the second day of the third Test between India and England.

After the proceeding­s of the first half plodded long at the Niranjan Shah Stadium, a stark contrast was witnessed later on Friday. A milestone moment that the cricket world eagerly awaited since the start of the series came into reality.

As much as R. Ashwin scaling Mt. 500 — only the second Indian bowler to do so — the day’s play will be remembered for England opener Ben Duckett’s unbeaten blitzkrieg. As a result, after India’s lateorder frustrated England before being bowled out for 445, England sprinted to 207 for two in just 35 overs to leave a tantalisin­g weekend on the cards for the cricket fans.

Duckett started off his flurry with a backfoot punch off pacers. And surviving the sixover spell before tea despite adopting a hitandmiss approach, Duckett was at his finest when it came to executing highrisk shots.

The lefthander swept — occasional­ly reverseswe­pt — Kuldeep Yadav’s Cinaman out of attack. Even after Ashwin was introduced into the attack, he continued to target the onside — against turn, although the pitch hardly had anything to offer — and swept

Wwith panache.

Just when Zak Crawley had started opening his arms up, the moment of reckoning came in the eighth over of the last session.

Crawley’s attempted sweep off Ashwin resulted in a topedge and Rajat Patidar at short fineleg accepted the catch neatly to make the offspinner only the second Indian bowler — ninth overall — to achieve the feat. The landmark led to each of the India teammember congratula­ting him and the rest of the stadium — including Anil Kumble, the only other Indian to have achieved it who was commentati­ng — giving him a standing ovation.

Duckett though was unperturbe­d as he continued his spree. Even in the 90s, he first creamed Jasprit Bumrah along the ground for a four and then completed his third hundred in the next over with another ondrive off Mohammed Siraj.

Ollie Pope joined the act as he played an audacious reversesco­op off Ravindra Jadeja over the ’keeper’s head. While Siraj got Pope with an incoming delivery, Duckett marched on. If he had not survived a close lbw shout that could not be confirmed due to DRS, India would have breathed easy by close of play.

Earlier in the morning, despite losing Kuldeep and Jadeja early on, Ashwin and debutant wicketekee­per Dhruv Jurel frustrated the England fielders with a 71run partnershi­p.

The most happening action during India’s batting essay was when Ashwin was found running between the wickets in the danger area. Since Jadeja was guilty of the same offence on the opening day, the umpires awarded five runs to England.

Hours after celebratin­g his record 500th Test wicket, Ashwin has withdrawn from the Test squad, effective immediatel­y due to a medical emergency at home. “In these challengin­g times, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the team fully supports Ashwin,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement. “The BCCI extends its heartfelt support to the champion cricketer and his family.”


Yashasvi Jaiswal c Root b Wood 10 (10b, 2x4), Rohit Sharma c Stokes b Wood 131 (196b, 14x4,

Shubman Gill c Foakes b Wood 0 (9b), Rajat Patidar c Duckett b Hartley 5 (15b, 1x4),

Ravindra Jadeja c & b Root 112 (225b, 9x4, 2x6), Sarfaraz Khan run out 62 (66b, 9x4, 1x6),

Kuldeep Yadav c Foakes b Anderson 4 (24b), Dhruv Jurel c Foakes b Rehan 46 (104b, 2x4,

R. Ashwin c Anderson b Rehan 37 (89b, 6x4), Jasprit Bumrah lbw b Wood 26 (28b, 3x4,

Mohammed Siraj (not out) 3

Extras (b2, lb4, nb2, w1): 9; Total (in 130.5 overs): 445.


122 (Jaiswal, 3.5 overs), 224 (Gill, 5.4), 333 (Patidar, 8.5), 4237 (Rohit, 63.3), 5314 (Sarfaraz, 81.5), 6331 (Kuldeep, 89.4), 7331 (Jadeja, 90.5), 8408 (Ashwin, 119.6), 9415 (Jurel, 123.5).


Anderson 257611, Wood 27.521144, Hartley 4071091, Root 163701, Rehan 222852.


Zak Crawley c Patidar b Ashwin 15 (28b, 2x4), Ben Duckett (batting) 133 (118b, 21x4, 2x6), Ollie Pope lbw b Siraj 39 (55b, 5x4, 1x6), Joe Root (batting) 9 (13b, 1x4); Extras (b1, lb1, nb4, pen5): 11; Total (for two wkts. in 35 overs): 207.



Bumrah 80340, Siraj 101541, Kuldeep 61420, Ashwin 70371, Jadeja 40330.

 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? Ashwin did not have wait for long for achieving the feat as he got rid of Crawley in his second over.
GETTY IMAGES Ashwin did not have wait for long for achieving the feat as he got rid of Crawley in his second over.
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