Ash­win’s triple strike leaves Eng­land reel­ing

Arab News - - SPORTS -

MO­HALI: Ravichandran Ash­win’s fine all-round per­for­mance put In­dia firmly in con­trol of the third Test Mon­day, as he fol­lowed up a dom­i­nant in­nings of 72 with three wick­ets to leave Eng­land reel­ing on 78 for four.

The vis­i­tors, who con­ceded a 134-run first-in­nings lead, trailed their hosts by 56 runs with six sec­ond-in­nings wick­ets re­main­ing at stumps on day three in Mo­hali.

Joe Root (36) and night­watch­man Gareth Batty (0) were at the crease.

Root opened with Alas­tair Cook in the ab­sence of teenager Haseeb Hameed with a hand in­jury.

He will bat later in the in­nings but could miss the rest of the se­ries, de­pend­ing on what X-rays re­veal.

Ash­win drew first blood by get­ting Cook bowled for 12.

The Eng­land skip­per had been liv­ing dan­ger­ously, with two lbw calls against him go­ing for re­views, first by In­dia and then by the bats­man him­self. But he sur­vived only to see his stumps shat­tered later on.

Ash­win kept up the pres­sure from his end as he bam­boo­zled Moeen Ali (5) with a flighted de­liv­ery, caus­ing the bats­man to give away a catch to mi­don.

Root soughtg to steady y the in­ningsg with Jonny Bairstow, but the wick­et­keeper-bats­man’s re­sis­tance did not last long.

Off- spin­ner Jayant Ya­dav got Bairstow, who top-scored with a dogged 89 in Eng­land’s first in­nings of 283, caught be­hind for 15.

An un­re­lent­ing Ash­win, the world’s top-ranked Test bowler, then trapped Ben Stokes lbw for five as the vis­i­tors slipped fur­ther.

“We’ve lost a few wick­ets this evening, which was not ideal, that was not the plan,” Bairstow told re­porters.

“How­ever, we still got Root out there in the mid­dle, we still got Jos (But­tler) to come, we still got Woakesy (Chris Woakes) to come and (Adil) Rashid scored a heck of a lot of runs. There’s still a lot of bat­ting within the shed.”

Ear­lier In­dia’s first in­nings saw five half-cen­turies be­fore the hosts, who re­sumed the day on 271-6, were bowled out for 417 in the af­ter­noon.

Ravichandran Ash­win,fore­ground-left, cel­e­brates with his team­mates af­ter dis­miss­ing Eng­land's Moeen Ali at the Pun­jab Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium, Mo­hali, on Mon­day. (Reuters)

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