4th Test: Spinners put England on top as India trail by 134 runs

Ranchi, Feb 24 – Spinners Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley played starring roles to help England reach a commanding position at the stumps on Day Two of the fourth Test against India at the JSCA International Stadium here on Saturday.

Bashir took 4-84 and bowled an unbroken spell of 31 overs to get his first four-wicket haul in red-ball cricket, while Hartley scalped 2-47 on a pitch which is providing turn and variable bounce to leave India in trouble at 219/7 and trail England by 134 runs.

Things could have been worse for the hosts if not for the unbroken 42-run stand, off 106 balls, between Dhruv Jurel (30 not out) and Kuldeep Yadav (17 not out). The final session began with Sarfaraz Khan surviving two run-out chances, followed by Yashasvi Jaiswal, resuming from 54 not out, taking three boundaries off Bashir.

The off-spinner eventually had the last laugh by getting the short ball to stay low and Jaiswal, moving backwards for a cut, only saw the delivery hit the toe-end of the bat and crash into the middle stump. Hartley added to India’s troubles by enticing Sarfaraz Khan to go for a drive and had the outside edge caught by a diving Joe Root at slip.

Hartley had his second wicket when he trapped Ravichandran Ashwin LBW with the one that kept low and hit him straight on the pads. Ashwin went for the review, but replays showed the ball was hitting the leg stump, with impact on the umpire’s call. Jurel and Kuldeep hit two boundaries each to keep India afloat till stumps.

Brief scores:

England 353 all out in 104.5 overs (Joe Root 122 not out, Ollie Robinson 58; Ravindra Jadeja 4-67, Akash Deep 3-83) lead India 219/7 in 73 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 73, Shubman Gill 38; Shoaib Bashir 4-84, Tom Hartley 2-47) by 134 runs


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