Hardik Pandya took his best Test figures as England collapsed to 161 all out.
Pandya’s first wicket in the innings was that of the England captain Joe Root caught by Lokesh Rahul at second slip for 16. There was much controversy surrounding the catch as Rahul snapped it up right off the turf. On review, the third umpire ruled in the bowler’s favour, as he couldn’t find evidence to overturn the soft decision by his on-field colleague.
In the space of the next 28 balls, Pandya completed his first five-for, in the process reducing England to 128-9. His second wicket was Jonny Bairstow, caught by Rahul for 15 with a ball that seamed to square the batsman up. He followed up with the wicket of Chris Woakes, caught behind by 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant on his Test debut.
Adil Rashid was another victim of the Pandya-Pant combination, Pant taking a diving catch to secure his fifth catch of the innings, a terrific performance on Test debut. Pandya completed his five-wicket haul by trapping Stuart Broad leg before for a duck.
Jos Buttler top-scored with a hard-hit 39 off 32 balls as he shepherded Jimmy Anderson away from the strike to sneak England past the follow-on mark. Buttler was last man out with the score on 161 in the 39th over, a dreadful capitulation after England had enjoyed a bright start to the day.
India began the day in the promising position of 307-6, only to lose their last four wickets for just 22 runs, Pant falling for 24 off 51 balls in his first Test knock. Broad, Woakes and Anderson all put in good shifts with the ball, with each picking up three wickets in the innings.
England got off to their best start of the series, Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings rocketing the score along to 54 before Cook fell for 29 off the last ball of the 12th over, followed by Jennings for 20 off the next ball, with both openers caught behind by Pant. Ollie Pope and Root added 21 runs before Pope fell for 10, Pant again completing the catch as a prelude to Pandya’s 29-ball spell of bowling.
With the cushion of a 161-run lead, the Indian openers matched their first-innings performance by again putting on 60 runs without loss, batting with confidence until Ben Stokes bowled Rahul for a dashing 36 off 33 balls. Shikhar Dhawan followed, stumped by Bairstow off Rashid six runs short of his half-century, with the score on Nelson. Cheteshwar Pujara ended the day undefeated on 33 alongside his captain Virat Kohli on eight.
With a lead of 292 runs and eight wickets with three days in hand, the signs aren’t good for England as India seek to claw their way back into the series.
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