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Other SportsIndia v England: Duckett hits brilliant ton after Ashwin claims landmark wicket

India v England: Duckett hits brilliant ton after Ashwin claims landmark wicket

Ben Duckett made a magnificent century as England roared back on day two of the third Test against India.

The left-hander hit the third-fastest ton by an overseas player in India, reaching three figures in just 88 balls, to help England close on 207 for two off 35 overs in reply to India’s 445 all out.

Duckett made it to stumps on 133 not out, alongside Joe Root on nine, with England heading into day three 238 runs behind.

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Ravindra Jadeja’s pre-match claim that India had worked out how to combat ‘Bazball’ was made to look a little silly as Duckett thrashed him, and the rest of the India attack, all round the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.

It was also a landmark day for India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who claimed his 500th Test wicket by dismissing Zak Crawley for 15. In terms of balls bowled, he is the second-quickest to 500, behind Australia’s Glenn McGrath.

England had already raced to 89 by the time Ashwin struck, thanks largely to Duckett’s attacking approach.

Having been given a five-run start after India were punished for their batters running on the protected area, Duckett quickly went to work, cruising to a half-century in 39 balls.

India’s opening bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj had no answer to the diminutive Nottinghamshire opener who never crossed the line between attacking intent and slogging, playing with controlled aggression.

Bumrah finally threatened with a trademark yorker that Duckett survived after India reviewed the original call of not out – the batter getting the merest of nicks off the toe of the bat – but he could do little as Duckett went on to reach three figures with an on-drive off Siraj.

Having put on 93 in 16.5 overs, the partnership between Duckett and Ollie Pope was broken when the latter was trapped leg before wicket by Siraj.

Root joined Duckett and helped navigate England through to the close with no further alarms.

England’s front-foot approach was in stark contrast to India’s stodgy efforts earlier in the day as they added 119 in 45 overs.

Having resumed on 326 for five and with Jadeja well set on 110 not out, the home side’s intentions would have been to bat England out of the game.

However, the tourists had other ideas and both overnight batters – Jadeja and nightwatchman Kuldeep Yadav – were back in the pavilion inside five overs. Yadav (four) nicked James Anderson to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes before Jadeja (112) produced a loose shot to give Root a straightforward caught and bowled opportunity.

Ashwin (37) and impressive debutant Dhruv Jurel (46) put on 77 to frustrate England while Bumrah’s late thrash provided some impetus for India to take into the field only for Duckett to swing the momentum back England’s way.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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