AFP
Wire Service
2 minute read
24 Feb 2021
8:18 pm

England on the ropes as India take control in third Test

AFP

With the series poised at 1-1, England won the toss and chose to bat, but they survived only 48.4 overs.

Zak Crawley's half-century was not enough to keep England afloat in their first innings against India. Picture: Getty Images

Axar Patel claimed six wickets as India gained the upper hand in their crucial day-night third Test against England on Wednesday, bowling out their rivals for 112 and then getting within 13 runs of taking the lead on day one at the world’s biggest cricket stadium.

Only the loss of captain Virat Kohli in the final over spoiled the opening day as India moved to 99 for three in their first innings, with Rohit Sharma on 57 and Ajinkya Rahane on one.

Spin bowlers again dominated the day with Patel taking the starring role while Jack Leach claimed two wickets including Kohli for 27.

The Indian captain saw one tough chance dropped by Ollie Pope on 24 but soon after chopped Leach’s left-arm spin on to his stumps and walked off visibly furious with himself.

With the series poised at 1-1 England won the toss and chose to bat but survived only 48.4 overs.

Patel, who recorded his second five-wicket haul in just his second Test, linked up with Ravichandran Ashwin, who took three wickets, while fast bowler Ishant Sharma, playing his 100th Test, claimed one.

Amid a general collapse, Zak Crawley top-scored with 53.

Captain Joe Root (17) Ben Foakes (12) and Jofra Archer (11) were the only others to get into double figures.

Only Crawley put up some resistence with his fourth Test fifty and a 47-run third-wicket stand with Root.

Ashwin claimed the England captain. Root reviewed the call but replays showed the ball would have hit the top of leg stump and he left the field to loud cheers from the home crowd.

England hit back with two wickets after Jofra Archer sent back Shubman Gill for 11 and Cheteshwar Pujara fell for a duck off Leach.

But Sharma stood firm for his 12th Test fifty and put on 64 with Kohli, delighting crowds at India’s revamped venue with a capacity of 110,000 fans.

Only half the tickets have been put on sale due to the coronavirus pandemic and a turnout of over 30,000 was reported on the opening day.

India’s innings witnessed drama after the new LED lights went off for two minutes in the second over and then for 30 seconds in the 12th.

A young pitch invader also made his way onto the field in the final session and attempted to get close to Kohli before being escorted away by security guards.

England were frustrated by two TV umpire calls, including a stumping chance of Sharma, on 53, and a Ben Stokes catch that was turned down early in the innings.

Skipper Root had a long conversation with the on-field umpire on both occasions.

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