AHMEDABAD: India’s Axar Patel claimed an 11-wicket match haul as they beat England by 10 wickets inside two days in the day-night third Test on Thursday, dashing the tourists’ hopes of making the final of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) in June.
On a viciously turning track, England were shot out for 81 in the second innings, their lowest ever total against India, who had suffered their own first-innings collapse on a chaotic day at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Chasing 49 for victory in the spin-dominated, low-scoring contest, India overwhelmed the target without losing a wicket to go 2-1 up in the four-Test series.
The hosts need a draw in the final Test, also in Ahmedabad from March 4, to reach the WTC final.
If India lose the fourth test, Australia will play New Zealand in the June 18-22 contest.
“I have never been part of a Test match where things have moved so quickly,” said home captain Virat Kohli said.
“It was bizarre that out of the 30 wickets, 21 were off straight balls,” he said praising his spin bowlers but hitting out at the batsmen on both sides.
“The result went our way but the quality of batting wasn’t at all up to standard by both teams. There was a lack of application from both sides. Our bowlers were much more effective and that’s why we got the result.”
England captain Joe Root, who won the toss, chose to bat and then saw two dramatic collapses, was shocked by the defeat but insisted it would not “define” his side that won the first Test so convincingly.
“We will use the hurt from this week as motivation going into that last game. We will come back stronger for it,” he insisted.
It was only the second Test in India’s cricket history to end in two days.
The last was their thrashing of Afghanistan on their Test debut in Bangalore in 2018 and there have been less than 25 in Test history.
England’s last two-day Test was when they beat West Indies at Headingly in 2000.
England had been on the back foot since being skittled out for 112 in their first innings at the world’s largest cricket stadium.
Yet Root and Jack Leach shone with the ball to drag the tourists back into the contest by bowling out India for 145.
England, however, suffered a second batting collapse to allow the hosts to take charge again.
Earlier, resuming on 99-3, India looked on course for a handy first-innings lead but Root (5-8) and Leach (4-54) wreaked havoc with the pink ball.
Rohit Sharma top scored for India with 66 but the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 31 runs.
Patel had claimed six of the 10 English wickets in the first innings and the left-arm spinner returned to haunt them with a two-wicket first over.
Ben Stokes (25) and Root (19) offered hints of a partnership before they fell in successive overs.
Patel said he thrives on the mind games with opposing batsmen.
“Strangle their runs and then get them to make mistakes. Bowling more and more dot balls is my strength,” said the new spin hero.
Patel went on to claim 5-32, while Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed four batsmen en route to reaching 400 Test wickets.
Left-arm spinner Patel was named man-of-the-match for his 11-70 in his second Test.
England lasted 30.4 overs with all 10 batsmen falling to spin.
“I think, more than anything, we shouldn’t have any baggage going into the last game. We have some fine players and batsmen who are more than capable of making big scores,” said Root.
ENGLAND (1st Innings) 112 (Z. Crawley 53; A.R. Patel 6-38, R. Ashwin 3-26).
INDIA (1st Innings, overnight 99-3):
R.G. Sharma lbw b Leach 66
Shubman Gill c Crawley b Archer 11
C.A. Pujara lbw b Leach 0
V. Kohli b Leach 27
A.M. Rahane lbw b Leach 7
R.R. Pant c Foakes b Root 1
R. Ashwin c Crawley b Root 17
Washington Sundar b Root 0
A.R. Patel c Sibley b Root 0
I. Sharma not out 10
J.J. Bumrah lbw b Root 1
EXTRAS (B-2, LB-2, W-1) 5
TOTAL (all out, 53.2 overs) 145
FALL OF WKTS: 1-33, 2-34, 3-98, 4-114, 5-115, 6-117, 7-125, 8-125, 9-134.
BOWLING: Anderson 13-8-20-0; Broad 6-1-16-0; Archer 5-2-24-1; Leach 20-2-54-4; Stokes 3-0-19-0 (1w); Root 6.2-3-8-5.
ENGLAND (2nd Innings):
Z. Crawley b Patel 0
D.P. Sibley c Pant b Patel 7
J.M. Bairstow b Patel 0
J.E. Root lbw b Patel 19
B.A. Stokes lbw b Ashwin 25
O.J.D. Pope b Ashwin 12
B.T. Foakes lbw b Patel 8
J.C. Archer lbw b Ashwin 0
M.J. Leach c Rahane b Ashwin 9
S.C.J. Broad not out 1
J.M. Anderson c Pant b Sundar 0
TOTAL (all out, 30.4 overs) 81
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-0, 3-19, 4-60 5-66, 6-66, 7-68, 9-80.
BOWLING: Patel 15-0-32-5; Ashwin 15-3-48-4; Washington Sundar 0.4-0-1-1.
INDIA (2nd Innings):
R.G. Sharma not out 25
Shubman Gill not out 15
EXTRAS (B-8, LB-1) 9
TOTAL (for no wkt, 7.4 overs) 49
BOWLING: Leach 4-1-15-0; Root 3.4-0-25-0.
RESULT: India won by 10 wickets to lead four-match series 2-1.
UMPIRES: N.N. Menon (India) and A.K. Chaudhary (India).
TV UMPIRE: C. Shamshuddin (India).
MATCH REFEREE: J. Srinath (India).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Axar Patel.
FIRST TEST: Chennai, England won by 227 runs.
SECOND TEST: Chennai, India won by 317 runs.
FOURTH TEST: Ahmedabad, March 4-8 (9:00am PST).
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021