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Bashir's four-wicket burst puts India on backfoot after Jaiswal's gritty fifty
2/24/2024 9:42:54 PM
RANCHI, Feb 24: Young off-spinner Shoaib Bashir scythed through the Indian line-up with an impressive four-wicket haul that left the hosts stuttering at 219 for seven on day two of the fourth Test here on Saturday. The 20-year-old Bashir, playing only his second Test, got rid of Shubman Gill (38), Rajat Patidar (17), Ravindra Jadeja (12) on a pitch that has uneven bounce and cracks to rattle the Indian top and middle order.
He returned after the tea break in his marathon 31-over spell across two sessions to clean up in-form Yashasvi Jaiswal (73) with a ball that skid through the defence of the left-hander.
With intermittent wickets pegging India back, they were forced to play a catch-up game and are still trailing by 134 runs. If it was not for a combative partnership between Dhruv Jurel (30 batting) and Kuldeep Yadav (17), India would have struggled to cross even 200-run mark. They had joined forces when the scorecard read 177 for seven.
The two batters played late and did not commit early into their shots, a ply that worked well in their unbeaten 42-run stand.
This was after England's first innings folded for 353 after starting the day at 302 for seven. The total could have been bigger if Ollie Robinson (58) had not attempted an audacious reverse sweep off Ravindra Jadeja. The 22-year-old Jaiswal yet again produced a confident knock. He now has scored 618 runs with an average of 103 in this series. He looked for another big one before being done in by low bounce.
Left-arm spinner Tom Hartley returned with figures of 2/47 that included the crucial breakthrough of Sarfaraz Khan (14) who had a frustrating stay. He also survived a run-out.
India lost Rohit Sharma (2) cheaply when old warhorse James Anderson induced a faint-edge from the skipper in the third over of their innings. But thereafter, Jaiswal showed why he is India's latest run machine when he overcame some anxious moments to post his fourth fifty-plus score in this series.
From a watchful start, India No. 3 Gill accelerated post-lunch break, taking on Anderson with two elegant boundaries -- one flick off the pads, and a punch straight back down the ground.
But Bashir gave England the breakthrough by trapping Gill, halting the fine 82-run alliance between Gill and Jaiswal.
He delivered a ball that took off the crack just outside off stump, trapped Gill on the pad as Indians reviewed unsuccessfully.
It sort of triggered the Indian collapse as the batters failed to grind deep in, showing little application.
Having given a lifeline after sloppy displays in Rajkot, Patidar had a nervy and tentative stay.
The only bright spot of his innings was driving down Anderson past the gully for a boundary that brought up the 100 for India.
It was just a matter of time before Bashir trapped him with a ball that skidded onto his pads.
Post his century in Rajkot, Jadeja retained his No 5 spot and counter-attacked Hartley for successive sixes.
But Bashir was in the thick of the action again as his ball came off the cracks with Jadeja managing to loop the ball straight to short leg.
England added 51 valuable runs to their overnight total as the Indian attack failed to make early penetration. The last five England batters added 241 runs after being 112/5 at lunch on the opening day.
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