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Other SportsIndia v England: Sharma and Gill sparkle as Stokes provides stand-out moment

India v England: Sharma and Gill sparkle as Stokes provides stand-out moment

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill hit centuries as India made solid progress towards a 4-1 series win over England.

The home side ended day two of the final Test in Dharamsala on 473 for eight – a lead of 255 after England were bundled out for just 218 yesterday.

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Sharma (103) and Gill (110) led the way although they were ably supported by debutant Devdutt Padikkal and Sarfaraz Khan who both hit half-centuries as England toiled with the ball.

Young spinner Shoaib Bashir was again the stand-out for the tourists, taking four for 170 and impressing with his durability across 44 overs.

Ben Stokes provided the highlight moment, however, by claiming the wicket of Sharma with his first delivery since last year’s second Ashes Test – the England captain declaring himself fit to bowl after knee surgery and making an immediate impact.

Unfortunately for Stokes and England, the horse had already bolted by that point.

Sharma started the day on 52 not out with Gill alongside on 26. The pair came out and showed plenty of attacking intent early on, adding another 50 inside the first 10 overs before reaching three figures within two balls of each other before lunch.

Stokes’ warm-up during the interval suggested he would finally get the chance to make an impact with ball in hand and he did just that, an absolute jaffa crashing into Sharma’s off-stump.

Gill followed almost immediately, James Anderson getting one to reverse into the stumps to move to 699 Test wickets.

If England thought they had done the hard work in getting rid of Sharma and Gill they bargained without Padikkal and Sarfaraz who both batted with great composure given their lack of Test experience.

The pair put on 97 for the fourth wicket before Bashir’s persistence was rewarded by snaring Sarfaraz for 56 and he followed that up eight overs later by also accounting for Padikkal, who made a fine 65.

Finally England were making inroads and Dhruv Jurel (15) and Ravindra Jadeja (15) both departed, as did Ravichandran Ashwin, who marked his 100th Test appearance with a five-ball duck.

India ended the day as they started it, however, with Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah putting on 45 before the close.

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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