England scents victory after the quick dismissals of Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha.
The first Test between India and England ended on an exciting note with India survived some crucial moments to draw it, in Rajjkot on Sunday.
It was indeed an exciting Test match. After the declaration from the England captain, fans expected that this match would be a tame draw. But the England bowlers bowled brilliantly to bring the match into their hands. Gautam Gambhir was dismissed for 0 by Woakes.
Murali Vijay and Pujara played brilliantly but the introduction of spin saw some exciting moments with wickets falling at regular intervals. Vijay and Pujara were dismissed quickly.
The Indian captain Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin stood firm and negated the English bowlers. But the quick dismissals of Ashwin and Saha once livened up the Test and England scented victory chance. But Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja defended stoutly and saved the blushes for India.
Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 49 and Ravindra Jadeja on 32.
Might be the last over of the Test. End of an exciting contest.
Six minutes to go and might be two overs to go. Two boundaries in this over for Jadeja.
Can England push through one or two quick overs to remove the remaining four Indian wickets?
Is it the last over for the Test? Still about 13 minutes to go. Cook brings his ace bowler Rashid to bowl.
Minimum of two overs to go. India reaches 150. Really a painstaking innings from Virat Kohli.
Minimum of three overs to go, England needs four wickets for victory. Jadeja smashes two successive boundaries. Good over for India.
Minimum of four overs to go. Kohli plays it safe this over.
Minimum of five overs to go. Rashid’s bowling adds pressure to the new batsman. Brilliant stuff from Adil Rashid. He is exploiting the wear and tear of the pitch.
Minimum of 6 overs to go, Kohli stands firm between England and victory now. England has to apply pressure from both ends. Rashid at one end is bowling brilliantly. A close shave for Kohli.
Minimum of 7 overs to go, India 132 for 5. Saha on 9 and Kohli on 41 at the crease. Cook bring his ace bowler Rashid from the other end. Claiming for a caught and bowled. India loses another wicket at crucial stage. Saha is out for 9. Important breakthrough from Rashid. England scents victory.
Minimum of 8 overs to go, England captain Cook applies pressure by introducing spin from both ends. Saha, the new man, should give the strike to Kohli.
Minimum of 9 overs to go, England still needs five wickets while Kohli and Saha have to survive the resurgent England bowlers.
Now, Cook brings in his ace bowler Adil Rashid.
Ansari removes Ashwin for 32. India loses another wicket. India 118 for 5.
Minimum of 11 overs to go, India 106 for 4. Ashwin 20 and Kohli 36 are still at the crease.
12 overs to go, time is running out for England captain Alastair Cook. He has to bring in Adil Rashid from one end to have any chance of breaking this partnership.
13 overs to go, India 101 for 4. Kohli and Ashwin are applying themselves brilliantly.
14 overs to go. India 97 for 4. Cook is rotating his bowlers very well. India reaches 100 now.
With Kohli and Ashwin playing comfortably, India can sense drawing this Test match.
Important last 15 overs. Can Indian batsmen survive the late onslaught from the English side? the last drinks break of the Test.
Still 16 overs to go, England has to take six wickets. It will be interesting if England takes a wicket now.
With wear and tear in the pitch, Cook could not afford these batsmen to defend. Spin at both the ends can be a good option.
Alastair Cook has to apply pressure by introducing spin at both ends.
With still Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja still to come, India has a chance of saving this Test. On the other hand, England feels if they take the wicket of Virat Kohli now, they can press for a victory.
19 overs still to go.
Some close calls for India. England bowlers are pinning the batsmen down. England has reviewed a Ashwin’s LBW but it was turned down by the third umpire. The English players are trying to play mind games with the Indian batsmen.
Still 21 overs to go, England has gained the upper hand while Indian batsmen has to apply themselves to draw this Test.
India still needs 233 runs to win while England needs 6 wickets.
Still 26 overs remaining, India needs to counter some excellent bowling from Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. England have to dismiss Kohli early.
Despite losing wickets, the Indian captain Virat Kohli is batting positvely by punishing loose deliveries. The dangerous bowler now is Adil Rashid. India 77 for 4.
England can now hope that if they can remove Virat Kohli, they have a big opportunity to win this match. The match is getting interesting now.
After tea, England struck two important breakthroughs by removing the first-innings centurion Murali Vijay for 31 and Rahane for 1.
Adil Rashid accounted for Murali Vijay and after one over, Moeen Ali removed Ajinkya Rahane for 1 and now England can sense a victory chance if they remove Kohli quickly. England’s Adil Rashid took two wickets.
Set an improbable target of 310, India were 49 for 2 in their second innings at tea as the opening cricket Test against England headed for a tame draw in Rajkot on Sunday.
At the break, Murali Vijay was batting on 29 along with captain Virat Kohli on 2.
India require another 261 runs for a win with eight second innings wickets in hand.
Earlier, Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra struck twice in the space of 11 balls after being brought on late into the attack but England swelled the overall lead.
Mishra, who took just one wicket and looked unimpressive in the England first innings, took wickets in his first two overs to remove debutant opener Haseeb Hameed (82) and then pack off top batsman Joe Root (4) cheaply to bring some interest into the match.
England captain Alastair Cook was, however, holding fort at one end after compiling his 30th century of his 136—Test—old career which was also his sixth against India and fifth in this country to show his liking of Indian conditions.
The left—handed opener, who became the sixth century maker in the Test and fourth from his side, was 106 not out from 208 balls from which he struck 10 fours in a lunchtime team score of 211 for two, that translated to an overall lead of 260 with two sessions left in the match.
The not out batsman at the other end was Ben Stokes on 6, even as Test looked headed for a draw. The tourists added 97 runs in 29 overs during the first session.
The visitors, appearing to play for a draw on the last morning of the game, all of a sudden changed their approach and started to go after the Indian bowling, losing two wickets too in the process.
Mishra first caught and bowled Hameed, denying the talented Indian—origin youngster his day in the sun with a century on debut, for 82. The 235—minute stay of the 19—year—old batsman, who struck a six and seven fours in his 177—ball innings, ended when he knocked back a slog—sweep off a leg break bowled wide of off stump.
Replays were called for as Mishra was thought to have over—stepped but he had landed his front foot inside the crease by the barest margin and Hameed, who played spin and pace with equal felicity, departed after having added 180 runs with his captain for the first wicket.
This was followed by the quick dismissal of Root who tried an almighty heave off Mishra’s leg break and top—edged to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha who took a comfortable catch.
In the first hour of play, England showed little intent on getting quick runs. With the wicket playing easy, Cook and Hameed had no trouble in facing the pace—cum—spin attack employed by the hosts.
India, too, employed a semi defensive field and kept Ravichandran Ashwin operating from one end for the first hour and he kept things in check although hardly causing any discomfort to the two batsmen.
India alternated between Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav at the other end and the first hour’s play saw Cook reach 50 in 122 balls. It contained just three hits to the fence.
Barring an edged shot by debutant Hameed off Shami and a top—edged sweep by Cook off Ashwin, who employed a leg stump attack with a packed on—side field to the left—handed opener, there was hardly anything to test the Indian fielders.
Ashwin was replaced after an economical 9—over spell for 17 runs by Ravindra Jadeja while Mishra replaced Yadav after the pacer had conceded 23 runs in six overs.
The move paid off immediately as Mishra caught and bowled Hameed. Root followed Hameed into the pavilion before England adjourned for lunch without losing another wicket.
England: 537 & 211 for 2 in 66 overs (Alastair Cook 106 batting, Haseeb Hameed 82; Amit Mishra 2/38).
India: 488 & 49 for 2 in 18 overs (Murali Vijay 29 batting, Virat Kohli 2 batting).