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Other SportsIndia v England: Gill and Jurel star as hosts claim series 3-1

India v England: Gill and Jurel star as hosts claim series 3-1

England slumped to their first series loss under captain Ben Stokes as India survived a nervy fourth-innings run chase to win the fourth Test by five wickets.

The hosts required 192 to win and secure a 3-1 series triumph but appeared in disarray when they slumped from 84 without loss to 120 for five.

But a sixth-wicket partnership of 72 from Shubman Gill (52 not out) and Dhruv Jurel (39no) calmed the nerves of the crowd in Ranchi and saw India home.

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Defeat was harsh on England’s young spinners Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley, who had given the tourists a sniff of a remarkable win that would have taken the series to a decider in Dharamsala.

The pair bowled 51 overs between them as India came close to squandering a position of strength provided by a solid opening stand of 84 from captain Rohit Sharma and India’s new superstar Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Jaiswal opted for a front-foot approach in trying to chase down a modest target and it seemed a policy that was working as he moved serenely to 37. However, he went for one attacking shot too many and, in trying to hit over extra cover off Joe Root, only succeeded in getting a thick outside edge with James Anderson taking a good catch.

Sharma (55) had been more cautious than his younger opening partner but he too fell in trying to force the issue, dragged out of his crease by some extra flight from Hartley and getting an edge to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

At 99 for two, India were still in a position of strength but that soon became 100 for three when Rajat Patidar (nought) got an inside edge to Bashir with Ollie Pope claiming the catch at short leg.

And when Bashir snared Ravindra Jadeja (four) and Sarfaraz Khan (nought) with two wickets in two balls in the second over after lunch, England believed once again.

They bargained without Gill and Jurel, however. 

Initially content to pick up singles to dampen England’s excitement, they upped the tempo as the winning line came into view – Gill hitting two sixes to bring up a wonderful 50.

And with wicketkeeper Jurel backing up his first innings 90 with another solid contribution, India edged home.

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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