The Roar
The Roar


England in all sorts as Stokes falls for a duck, Poms bowled out in two sessions after opting to bat first

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7th March, 2024

India have bowled England out for a below-par 218 and cruised to 1-135 in reply to seize early control of the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala.

Kuldeep Yadav (5-72) wrecked England’s top order and fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (4-51) polished off the tail to bundle out the tourists in little more than two sessions.

India captain Rohit Sharma combined with Yashasvi Jaiswal (57) in an opening stand of 104 to consolidate his side’s position at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Rohit was unbeaten on 52 at stumps, with Shubman Gill (26no) looking assured at the other end.

Ben Stokes’s decision to bat first on a belter of a track was on the expected lines and England got off to a strong start with Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett combining in an opening stand of 64.

India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah troubled both batters with the moving ball but a breakthrough eluded the hosts until Kuldeep was pressed into the attack.

The left-arm wrist-spinner struck in his first over when Gill pulled off a spectacular catch.


Duckett (27) wanted to clear the leg side ropes but ended up offering a leading edge over cover. 

Gill turned and sprinted 20 metres before diving full length to land with the ball secure in his grip.

England captain Ben Stokes leaves the field after being dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav

England captain Ben Stokes leaves the field after being dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Crawley (79) brought up his half-century but Ollie Pope (11) departed on the stroke of lunch, stumped with time to spare by wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel.

At 2-137, England appeared to have weathered the early setbacks –  but their batting lineup was consumed by India’s three-pronged spin attack.

Kuldeep dismissed Crawley with a flighted delivery that landed outside off-stump, sneaked through the bat-pad gap and pegged back the leg-stump.


Jonny Bairstow, playing his 100th test, hit Kuldeep for a couple of sixes but fell to the spinner after a quickfire 29.

Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Joe Root lbw for 26 and Kuldeep dealt a body blow by dismissing Stokes for a duck.

In his 100th Test, Ashwin then ran through the England tail.

The off-spinner removed Tom Hartley (six) and Mark Wood (0) in the same over and returned to bowl another two-wicket over to get rid of Ben Foakes (24) and James Anderson (0).

When the teams returned, Rohit and Jaiswal led India’s reply with a century stand.

Jaiswal smashed three sixes in an over from England spinner Shoaib Bashir en route to his fifth 50-plus score in nine innings, which includes two double hundreds.


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Bashir eventually got Jaiswal stumped but India, holding an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, will fancy a first innings lead when play resumes on Friday.