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‘Bazball’ handed one final blow as Ashwin’s fifer helps India beat England by innings and 64 runs in 5th Test

First Published: 9th March, 2024 14:58 IST

India took a 259-run lead over England in their first innings, scoring 477 runs in reply to England's first innings score of 218 runs.

A five-wicket haul on his 100th Test by Ravichandran Ashwin broke the back of England’s batting line-up, handling the Three Lions’ ‘Bazball’ school of cricket one final blow as India won the fifth and final Test by an innings and 64 runs at Dharamsala on Saturday.

India has won the series 4-1. Despite some promising moments and performances by England throughout the series, the Indian bowling and its youth brigade did not let the ‘Bazball’ conquer what was described as the ‘Final Frontier’ for skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum after a lengthy run of success since mid-2022.

England started off the second session at 103/5, with Joe Root (34*) joined by wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes.

Foakes, known for playing some serious supporting roles with the bat, ended his innings at just eight runs, while attempting a massive slog sweep but was beaten by Ravichandran Ashwin’s spin. England was 113/6.

Next up on the crease was Tom Hartley, the lower-order batter who, surprisingly, is at the top of the six-hitting charts for England in this series. Hartley managed to occupy the crease for a while and give decent support to Root from the other end. His 24-ball 20-run knock was ended by Jasprit Bumrah, who trapped him leg-before-wicket. Two balls later, it was Mark Wood’s turn to perish without a run with yet another toe crusher by Bumrah. England was 141/8 in 34.4 overs and India needed two more wickets to hand England an embarrassing innings defeat on day three.

Root reached his half-century in 88 balls, with five fours. The batter found some support from Shoaib Bashir at the other end. The duo looked all but set to take England to the 200-run mark, but Bashir was cleaned up by Ravindra Jadeja for 13. England was 189/9 and 70 runs behind a lead. India needed just a wicket to win.

Kuldeep got the final wicket of the match, getting Joe caught by Bumrah for a fighting 84 in 128 balls, with 12 fours. England was bundled out for 195 and lost the match by an inning and 64 runs.

Ashwin (5/77) was the pick of the bowlers for India. Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets each, while Ravindra Jadeja got one.

Earlier, After their innings closed finally at 477, hosts India, leading by 259, put England on the rack in their second inning, with spin twins Ravi Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav weaving their magic on the visitors.
At lunch on Day 3, England were staring down the barrel at 103/5, still trailing India by 156 runs.

As the stumps were drawn for the luncheon break, former skipper and batting mainstay Joe Root was unbeaten on a strokeful 34.

Playing his 100th Test, Ravi Ashwin made hay as the sun baked down on a wearing pitch at the scenic HPCA stadium in Dharamshala, sending the English top-order back in the hut. Openers Zak Crawley (0), Ben Duckett (2) and Ollie Pope (19) failed to make an impact. England was reeling at 36/3 in 9.2 overs.

The experienced Yorkshire duo of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, then started the process of rebuilding for England, smashing some delightful strokes. England reached the 50-run mark in 12 overs.

Adding to the wily Ashwin’s four-fer, Kuldeep got one to spin back sharply on Johnny Bairstow, trapping him plumb in front of the wickets. Also playing his 100th Test, the Yorkshire, who has been struggling for form all series, took a liking for Ashwin and hit him for some towering sixes before falling to chinaman Kuldeep for 39 off 31 balls, with three fours and three sixes. England was 92/4.

The fifth wicket to fall was of skipper Ben Stokes, who was able to score just two runs before getting dismissed to veteran off-spinner Ashwin. England was 103/5.

Joe Root was the long warrior left at the end of the first session, with England reaching the 100-run mark in 20.3 overs.

Earlier, India resumed their innings from 473/8 on the board, leading by 255 runs with Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah unbeaten at 27* and 19*, respectively.

However, the pair was able to add just four runs to their overnight partnership before they were sent back to the pavilion at 477. With innings folded, the hosts led the visitors by 259 runs.

Meanwhile, England veteran pacer James Anderson etched his name in history on Saturday, becoming the first-ever pacer in the history of the sport to complete 700 wickets in Test cricket and, overall, only the third bowler to do so.

For the visitors, Shoaib Bashir (5/173) was the pick of the bowlers for England. Tom Hartley, and James Anderson took two wickets, while Ben Stokes got a wicket.

England won the toss and opted to bat first. They were bundled out for 218 in their first inning. Zak Crawley (79 in 108 balls, with 11 fours and a six) top-scored for England, while Jonny Bairstow (29), and Joe Root (26) also chipped in crucial runs.

Kuldeep Yadav (5/72) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4/51) were the top bowlers for India.

India took a 259-run lead over England in their first innings, scoring 477 runs in reply to England’s first innings score of 218 runs.

In their first innings, India once again dominated with the bat. The top order, consisting of Yashasvi Jaiswal (57 in 58 balls, with five fours and three sixes), skipper Rohit Sharma (103 in 162 balls, with 13 fours and three sixes) and Shubman Gill (110 in 150 balls, with 12 fours and five sixes) dominated the English bowling.

An 104-run opening partnership between Rohit and Jaiswal and a 171-run stand for the second wicket between Rohit and Gill helped India get the lead quite easily. Debutant Devdutt Padikkal (65 in 103 balls, with 10 fours and a six) and Sarfaraz Khan (56 in 60 balls, with eight fours and a six) also played crucial knocks. The duo of Sarfaraz and Padikkal put on 97 runs for the fourth wicket.

After dismissing Sarfaraz, England made a small comeback in to the game with some quick wickets as Padikkal, Dhruv Jurel and Ravindra Jadeja (15 each) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0) were removed by the spin duo of Hartley and Bashir, with Bashir getting Sarfaraz, Padikkal and Jurel.

India experienced a mini-collapse, going from 279/3 to 428/8. The pair of Kuldeep Yadav (30 in 69 balls, with two fours) and Jasprit Bumrah (20 in 64 balls, with two fours) put up a 49-run stand to take India to 477, not only frustrating English bowlers with their steady defence, but also securing a healthy lead.
England won the toss and opted to bat first. They were bundled out for 218 in their first inning. Zak Crawley (79 in 108 balls, with 11 fours and a six) top-scored for England. He had a 64-run opening stand with Ben Duckett (27 in 58 balls, with four boundaries). Later, Jonny Bairstow (29 in 18 balls, with two fours and two sixes) and Joe Root (26 in 56 balls, with four boundaries) played decent knocks and England was in a comfortable position at 175/3.

Then the spin trio of Kuldeep, Jadeja and Ashwin struck and triggered a massive batting collapse, which saw England implode for 218 runs. Kuldeep (5/72) and Ashwin (4/51) were the top bowlers for India. (ANI)

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