Mon. Oct 18th, 2021


India’s bowlers produced a sensational effort on the final day of the fourth Test to end a 50-year wait for victory at the iconic Oval ground on Monday. India’s only previous win at the London venue of the first-ever Test played 141 years ago was in 1971 when they clinched a historic first series in England.

India’s crushing 157-run win over England, taking all 10 second innings wickets on the last day to dismiss the hosts for 210, gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. It ensures India will at least draw the series, halting a sequence of three series defeats in 2011 (0-4), 2014 (1-3) and 2018 (1-4).

HIGHLIGHTS: INDIA BEAT ENGLAND BY 157 RUNS

Virat Kohli’s buoyant side can seal India’s first series win in England since 2007 in the final Test starting at Old Trafford from Thursday. It is only the second time that India have won two Tests in a series in England, the previous one a 2-0 win in 1986.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was expected to be India’s trump card on the final day, on a wicket expected to offer some turn with rough to exploit. A quality fast bowler though takes the pitch out of the equation and Jasprit Bumrah produced a superb exhibition of that on a flat deck.

Bowling with the old ball after lunch, the India spearhead carved open the England middle order with a double strike. Ollie Pope was bowled neck and crop and Jonny Bairstow’s high backlift had no chance against a searing yorker. It was the catalyst for the bowlers as the five-man attack stuck to their task to bundle out England.

 

India’s bowlers produced a sensational effort on the final day of the fourth Test to end a 50-year wait for victory at the iconic Oval ground on Monday. India’s only previous win at the London venue of the first-ever Test played 141 years ago was in 1971 when they clinched a historic first series in 1971.

India’s crushing 157-run win over England, taking all 10 second innings wickets on the last day to dismiss the hosts for 210, gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. It ensures India will at least draw the series, halting a sequence of three humiliating series defeats in 2011 (0-4), 2014 (1-3) and 2018 (1-4).

HIGHLIGHTS: INDIA BEAT ENGLAND BY 157 RUNS

Virat Kohli’s buoyant side can seal India’s first series win in England since 2007 in the final Test starting at Old Trafford from Thursday. It is only the second time that India have won two Tests in a series in England, the previous one a 2-0 win in 1986.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was expected to be India’s trump card on the final day, on a wicket expected to offer some turn with rough to exploit. A quality fast bowler though takes the pitch out of the equation and Jasprit Bumrah produced a superb exhibition of that on a flat deck.

Bowling with the old ball after lunch, the India spearhead carved open the England middle order with a double strike. Ollie Pope was bowled neck and crop and Jonny Bairstow’s high backlift had no chance against a searing yorker. It was the catalyst for the bowlers as the five-man attack stuck to their task to bundle out England.

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Jadeja was accurate and built pressure. Shardul Thakur prised out two big wickets, England skipper Joe Root bowled for the second time in the match. Umesh Yadav ran through the tail with three wickets while Mohammed Siraj stuck to a plan.

Bumrah’s 100th

Pope’s wicket was Bumrah’s 100th Test scalp, achieved in an Indian record 24 Tests, bettering Kapil Dev, who took 25 matches. Since making his debut in 2018, the player from Ahmedabad has added a new dimension to the Indian pace attack. For all their pace talent, the impact was restricted to match-turning, match-winning spells. Bumrah though makes the difference in long, tough series. It reflects in his excellent numbers. Counted since 2018, his strike rate and average are the best in the second innings—26 wickets at an average of 17.62 with a strike rate of 40.7.

When at the top of his game, the opposition is under pressure through the series. It was seen in the 2018-19 and 2020-21 series in Australia, when he took 21 wickets in four Tests and 11 wickets in three, respectively. He is having a similar impact in this series. At Trent Bridge, he took nine wickets and took three crucial wickets in the second innings for the Lord’s win. With four at Oval, his tally is 18 in four games.

On an easy-paced wicket, Bumrah showed his skill and class. Australian spin legend Shane Warne, on TV commentary, compared his second spell of 6-3-6-2 to Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis at his prime: “It is as good a spell as I have seen the whole summer.”

Bumrah didn’t get a wicket in the morning but gave nothing away with his line around off-stump. He set the tone by giving away one run in his first three overs, in a spell of 11-5-14-0.

That intensity lifted the rest of the bowlers, and Thakur provided the first breakthrough of the innings. He ended the resistance of Rory Burns. In his very first over, Thakur surprised the left-handed opener with a ball that left him a shade after pitching to take the edge. Burns was set at his home ground and had celebrated his half-century the previous ball.

In a real bonus for India, England No. 3 Dawid Malan was run out responding to the call for a suicidal single by Haseeb Hameed. India had kept things tight, conceding just 54 runs in 27 overs till lunch, setting the stage for an intense second period.

Opener Hameed was on 62 (187 b) and in-form Root was on eight. With eight wickets in hand, England needed 237 runs at a run-rate of 3.76.

India needed wickets to force the hosts to shut shop. The pressure was on Jadeja. The team had persisted with him for four Tests in a row (five, including the WTC final), and he had to deliver. In the first session, Jadeja kept things tight and saw Mohammed Siraj spill an easy catch at mid-off off Hameed. He finally had his man. He landed in the rough and the batsman exposed his stumps. The ball spun across him and hit the top of off-stump.

In his next over, a run later, Jadeja had Moeen Ali caught off the glove by substitute Suryakumar Yadav at forward short-leg. With Bumrah claiming two at the other end, England collapsed to 147/6.

Now, Root was the only obstacle. Thakur doesn’t possess the pace and quality of Bumrah, but has the knack of making things happen. At Trent Bridge he trapped a set Root leg-before. On Monday, he lulled him into inside-edging on to the stumps on 36.

Brief scores: India 191 & 466; England 290 & 210 (R Burns 50, H Hameed 63, U Yadav 3/60, J Bumrah 2/27, R Jadeja 2/50, S Thakur 2/22). India won by 157 runs, lead series 2-1.



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