England make a stunning comeback to defeat India by 28 runs in first Test | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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England make a stunning comeback to defeat India by 28 runs in first Test

Jan 28, 2024 06:49 PM IST

India's batting line-up fell short in the second innings, getting all out for 202 runs in 69.2 overs.

England staged a remarkable comeback in the first Test in Hyderabad, defeating India by 28 runs on the fourth day, and claiming a 1-0 lead in the five match series.

England's Tom Hartley celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Srikar Bharat(REUTERS)
England's Tom Hartley celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Srikar Bharat(REUTERS)

Ben Stokes' side, powered by Ollie Pope's majestic 196 and significant contributions from Rehan Ahmed and debutant Tom Hartley (adding 62 runs combined), set the home side a challenging target of 231. However, India's batting line-up, which had adopted an aggressive approach in the first innings, surprisingly stayed defensive in the second innings and was all out for 202 runs in 69.2 overs.

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This unexpected collapse diverged from India's previous innings, where the batsmen took on the English attack positively. The sluggishness of the pitch, combined with the pressure of the chase, played into England's hands on Day 4. Debutant Tom Hartley shone with a five-wicket haul – eventually ending with figures of 7/62 – and Joe Root and Jack Leach picked a wicket each as the English side kickstarted the 2024 Test tour win a win, reminiscent of 2020-21.

Also read Pietersen, Gavaskar conflict over 'defence vs attack' debate after Team India's below-par batting show in 2nd innings

This was the first time when India lost a Test match after taking a more than 100-run lead in the first innings; the lead was close to the 200-run mark (190). However, Ollie Pope led England's revival after a poor start to the visitor's innings on Day 3. The right-handed batter, who had scored only 6 in the first innings, held one end as wickets continued to fall on the other before getting the much-needed support from Ben Foakes (34), Rehan Ahmed (28), and Tom Hartley (34). Pope eventually scored 196, falling short of a double century thanks to Jasprit Bumrah's scorching delivery that castled his stumps.

Bumrah was also the pick of the bowlers for India, taking 4 for 41, but the biggest revelation on the day was England's Tom Hartley, who had a rather indifferent outing in the first innings.

Hartley got a breakthrough in the 12th over of India's run chase when he dismissed the dangerous Yashasvi Jaiswal on 15. He picked Shubman Gill's wicket in the same over, putting further pressure on the Indian youngster who is going through a rough patch in Tests.

Rohit Sharma began his innings with an attacking mindset, but Hartley trapped him leg-before just five overs later, ending his knock at 39 off 58 balls.

Wickets fell regularly as India threw a surprise, promoting Axar Patel to No. 5. The experiment failed as Axar fell on 17, while KL Rahul (22), too, failed to make a mark.

Things went further south when Ravindra Jadeja was run out for just two, while Shreyas Iyer failed to impress again, handing an easy catch to slips at 13. Ravichandran Ashwin (28) and KS Bharat (28) did attempt to rebuild the innings and keep the chances of winning alive, but their dismissals all but quashed India's hopes.

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