Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed a five-wicket as India busted the initial England resistance to bowl them out for 255 and take a huge 200-run lead on the third day of the second cricket Test, here today. Ashwin (5/67) faced some testing time in the morning but with his maiden fifer against England, he now has five-wicket milestone against all the Test countries he has played with — six against New Zealand, four each against Australia, South Africa and West Indies, two against Sri Lanka and one each against Bangladesh and England.
It was Ashwin’s 22nd five-wicket haul from 41 Tests and now has 52 wickets in the 2016 calendar year. India were eight for no loss with Murali Vijay batting on three alongwith KL Rahul (1) at tea.
Resuming at 103 for five, England resisted well in the morning with Ben Stokes (70) leading the way in a 110-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow (53) who batted brilliantly despite a troubled ankle.
It was paceman Umesh Yadav who broke the stand by castling Bairstow with a full-length ball while Ashwin got rid of Stokes.
Stokes prodded forward and was adjudged leg-before. Not giving up, the lef-thander went for a review as he was adjudged trapped LBW, something that looked to have instilled confidence in the off-spinner who bowled without any success this morning.
The pitch looked like a worn-out leather but Ashwin had to wait for his first wicket till the 11th over of his day but the breakthrough of Stokes virtually opened the gate for India as Ravindra Jadeja bowled Zafar Ansari (4) at the other end before the offspinner trapped Stuart Board (13) and James Anderson (0) LBW off successive deliveries.
But Stokes and Bairstow dominated the first session and with about 10 minutes to go for the lunch break, Yadav finally gave the day’s first breakthrough when he cleaned up Bairstow with a brilliant full length ball.
Having completed his 12th Test fifty with a boundary off Yadav a couple of overs ago, Bairstow was beaten by the pace as he tried to work the ball away before it cannoned into his leg stump.
Having tripped over his ankle while walking out to bat, Bairstow defied pain and played beautifully in his innings that came off 152 balls with five fours.
With his fifty, Bairstow also joined AB de Villiers (in 2013) as the most 50-plus scores in a calendar year but his wicket opened up an otherwise lacklustre opening session for India.
At the other end, Stokes was in the middle of one of his slowest innings taking 108 balls to reach his eighth Test fifty and made full use of his stroke of luck.
Early on, India unsuccessfully reviewed Ashwin’s call for a review of an LBW appeal against Bairstow in the fist ball of his first over.
Then in the 55th over, Wriddhiman Saha failed to gather the ball cleanly with Stokes’ backfoot out of the crease as a stumping opportunity was missed.