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India vs England: Curran's 63 gives England fighting score, India need 194 to win

Pacer Ishant Sharma ran through the middle order for a five-wicket haul but Sam Curran's fighting 63-run knock helped England set India a tricky 194-run target in the first cricket Test, here today.


PTI 03 Aug 2018, 03:10 PM India

Pacer Ishant Sharma ran through the middle order for a five-wicket haul but Sam Curran's fighting 63-run knock helped England set India a tricky 194-run target in the first cricket Test, here today.

Ishant (5/51) took his eighth fifer while R Ashwin (3/59) and Umesh Yadav (2/20) shared the other five wickets as England were bowled out for 180 at the stroke of tea.

India had England on the mat at one stage as they had reduced England to 87 for seven but 20-year-old all-rounder Curran took the center stage by scoring 63 runs off 65 balls and delayed India’s victory march.

Post lunch, Ishant did not allow Jos Buttler (1) to get settled, nicking him off on the second ball after the resumption of play.

In doing so, he put on 48 runs with Adil Rashid (16) for the eighth wicket. It was the only passage of play on this third day wherein English batsmen looked comfortable at the crease as Indian bowlers searched desperately for a breakthrough.

Curran played with a maturity that belied his young age. It did not help that Shikhar Dhawan dropped Rashid at slip off Yadav. Their partnership looked good for many more, but a heavy cloud stopped play for approximately 16 minutes as bad light forced the players in.

No rain came, and shortly on resumption, Yadav cleaned up Rashid’s off-stump in the 45th over. Sensing closure of the innings, Curran attacked the bowling, hitting sixes off both Sharma and Ashwin, as he reached his maiden Test half-century at a run-a-ball gallop.

He shielded both senior partners Stuart Broad (11) and James Anderson (0) ably, but Sharma eventually broke through as the English innings came to an end.

This was after Ashwin ran through the top order as India reduced England to 86 for six at lunch.

Starting from overnight 9 for 1, England did not get much respite as Ashwin bowled non-stop from one end after dismissing Alastair Cook (0) previously on Thursday evening.

The left-handed batsman in the English line-up looked easy fodder for him as the wicket started taking a lot more turn this morning. In the eighth over, Keaton Jennings (8) was the first to go with KL Rahul taking a sharp catch at leg slip.

Joe Root (14) held the key to England's second innings, and eventual course of the game, but Ashwin etched out the big wicket eight overs later. He broke the budding 21-run partnership between him and Dawid Malan (20) as Rahul held another excellent, low catch at leg slip.

It could have gotten worse, as Jonny Bairstow’s (28) first shot also landed close to Rahul’s hand. Three overs later, Malan (on 17) got a life when Shikhar Dhawan failed to latch on to a low catch at first slip off Sharma. But the left-hander never looked comfortable at the crease with Sharma constantly troubling him.

Malan and Root added 31 runs for the fourth wicket and pushed England past 50 in the 17th over. The former looked to play more conservatively, while Bairstow opened up a bit to score at any opportunity he got.

Just when it looked that they were getting comfortable at the crease, Sharma struck a quick triple blow.

Rahane caught first Malan at fourth slip in the 27th over. Then in the last over before lunch, Sharma struck twice to dismiss Bairstow, caught at first slip, and Ben Stokes (6), caught at third slip, in the space of three balls.

England was completely rocked with only the tail left to play with Buttler, as they had no reply to Indian bowlers' intensity.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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