• Saturday, April 13, 2024

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India crush England to lead Test series 2-1

India’s captain Rohit Sharma (L) and Ravindra Jadeja (C) walk back to the pavilion after their victory against England at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot on February 18, 2024. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

Pramod ThomasBy: Pramod Thomas

YASHASVI JAISWAL’s unbeaten double century and five wickets by Ravindra Jadeja helped India crush England by a record 434 runs in the third Test Sunday (18) to lead the series 2-1.

Chasing 557 for victory, England batting fell like a pack of cards to lose eight wickets in the final session and get bundled out for 122 on day four in Rajkot.

Jadeja got Mark Wood out for 33 as the final wicket, and he kissed the pitch as India’s registered their biggest ever win in terms of runs.

England lost their openers including first-innings centurion Ben Duckett, run out on four before tea, and Jadeja rattled the middle-order with his left-arm spin.

Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root extended their poor run in the five-match series and got out for four and seven respectively.

Skipper Ben Stokes attempted to resist the Indian bowling force, but fell lbw to left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for 15 in his landmark 100th Test.

The left-handed Jaiswal stood out with his 214 off 236 balls to flay the opposition attack as India declared their second innings on 430-4.

The opener returned to bat in the morning session after he retired hurt on 104 late on day three due to back pain. He raised his second double ton in consecutive matches with a single off Root — and jumped in joy.

Jaiswal hit a record-equalling 12 sixes in his knock which included three straight hits over the fence off James Anderson — a first for the veteran quick with 696 wickets in 185 Tests.

Jaiswal now stands level with former Pakistan great Wasim Akram, who also hit 12 sixes in an innings against Zimbabwe in 1996.

Jaiswal put on marathon stands including an unbeaten 172-run partnership with debutant Sarfaraz Khan, who made 68 for his second half-century in the match.

The 22-year-old Jaiswal, who hit a match-winning 209 in the second Test, remains the leading batsman in the series with 545 runs.

Indian bowlers set up victory after they bowled out England for 319, after the tourists batting collapsed from 299-5 despite the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday.

Ashwin, who left the Test midway on day two due to a medical emergency hours after his 500th Test wicket, returned to the field and bowl and get his 501st wicket on the fourth day.

Off-spinner Ashwin, 37, became only the ninth bowler in Test history and the second Indian after fellow spinner Anil Kumble (619) to reach 500 wickets.

Skipper Rohit Sharma’s 131 and 112 by Jadeja steered India to 445 in the first innings after they elected to bat.

England won the opener by 28 runs but India bounced back in the second match before their second straight win.

The fourth Test starts on Friday (23) in Ranchi.

(AFP)

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