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Bazball beaten: Indian young guns' nerveless stand aces chase, ensures Poms' first series loss under McCullum

26th February, 2024
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26th February, 2024
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India have accomplished a nervy run-chase to secure a five-wicket victory against England in the fourth cricket Test in Ranchi.

Chasing a modest 192 for victory on Monday, India cruised to 0-84 with openers Rohit Sharma (55) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (37) giving them a flying start.

The English spinners, led by Shoaib Bashir (3-79), then engineered a collapse that left India reeling at 5-120.

Shubman Gill (52 not out) and Dhruv Jurel (39no) combined in an unbroken stand of 72 for the sixth wicket to clinch India’s victory on the penultimate day of the contest.

This is England’s first series defeat under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.

“I think it was a great test match,” England captain Stokes said.

“There were so many ebbs and flows, and I’ve got to give so much credit to our spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir for how they performed not only today, but during the whole Test match.”

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Needing 152 runs on day four with all 10 wickets intact, Rohit and in-form opener Jaiswal looked at ease on a pitch, where the odd ball kept low.

Rohit smacked James Anderson for a six over mid-on to signal his attacking intent and Jaiswal, the leading scorer of the series, hit spinner Shoaib Bashir for back-to-back fours.

Joe Root broke the stand in his first over when Jaiswal tried to slice it and Anderson dived full length at short third man to grab the edge.

Rohit duly brought up his fifty but could not soldier on.

Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel celebrate the winning runs for India.

Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel celebrate the winning runs for India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Hartley drew the opener out of the crease with a flighted delivery and Ben Foakes whipped off the bails to effect the stumping.

India slumped to 3-100 after Bashir dismissed Rajat Patidar for a duck and the spinner turned the match on its head after the lunch break when he dismissed Ravindra Jadeja (four) and Sarfaraz Khan with successive deliveries.

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Gill and Jurel shored up India, defying tremendous pressure. There was a 30-over stretch during which they could not hit a single boundary.

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It was only when their victory was in sight that Gill smashed Bashir for two sixes in three balls.

“It has been a very hard-fought series. To come on the right side after four Tests feels really good,” home captain Rohit said.

“I am really proud. A lot of challenges have been thrown at us but we responded pretty well.”

The fifth and final Test is scheduled to be played in Dharamsala from March 7.

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