Chennai: Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed his 29th five-wicket haul in Tests to help India strengthen their position at close of Day 2 in the second match against England here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.
After bowling out England for just 134, India reached 54/1 in their second innings at Stumps on Day Two, thus swelling their lead to 249 runs.
After bundling up England for a paltry 134, India made 54/1 to take a lead of 249 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara (7*) and opener Rohit Sharma (25*) will resume the Indian innings on Monday. India had already forged themselves a strong position on the back of Rohit’s conditions-defying 161 on Day 1, and although they could only add 29 runs to their overnight 300/6, the bowlers were soon tucking into their work on a responsive surface.
As many as 15 wickets fell in the day with Ashwin claiming five of them in an innings, as England’s hopes of hanging in the contest on a turning pitch were obliterated in two sessions of skittish batting. India took giant strides towards levelling the series in Chennai after running through England and then building steadily on a 195-run lead.
Ravichandran Ashwin became the first bowler to dismiss 200 left-handed batsmen in Test cricket. Ashwin achieved the unique distinction on Day 2 of the second Test between India and England. The 34-year-old further registered his 29th five-wicket haul in Test cricket, equalling former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath’s tally on the all-time list.
Ashwin and McGrath occupy the joint-seventh spot in the list. “What a spell from R Ashwin! He claimed his 29th Test five-wicket haul – the joint-seventh in the all-time list with Glenn McGrath,” read the caption on a tweet from ICC’s official account, acknowledging the achievement.
From 52 for 5, England briefly cobbled some resistance, as Ollie Pope and Foakes put together a 35-run stand – their highest of the match. But having grazed in the outfield for almost 40 overs of his first home Test, Mohammed Siraj produced a wicket-taking intervention with his first delivery, Rishabh Pant’s leaping, one-handed take down the leg side accounting for Pope.
Moeen and Olly Stone fell in quick succession before tea, and it needed some doughty resistance from Foakes, playing his first Test in almost two years, to steer them past the follow-on target. Pant then produced another stunning catch – part of a blemish-free showing behind the stumps – to dislodge Leach and Stuart Broad dragged a sweep onto his stumps to complete Ashwin’s five-wicket haul.