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England claimed a thrilling victory over India in the first Test on the fourth day, as the events unfolded.
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England claimed a thrilling victory over India in the first Test on the fourth day, as the events unfolded.

England’s captains who have held their position for 20 Tests rank second, with only Mike Brearley, known as the “guru’s guru,” ahead.

Brearley served as the captain for England in 31 Tests during two separate periods, emerging victorious in 18 and suffering defeat in only four. However, his opponents were weakened due to the Kerry Packer schism and he never had the opportunity to lead England against the formidable West Indies team at the time. Additionally, Brearley had the advantage of having Ian Botham in his prime, while current captain Stokes only has himself as a true all-rounder, but he is currently unfit to bowl.

The way Stokes conjured wickets in this game was right up there with Brearley. England’s motley collection of spinners – one rusty, two rookies and a Rooty – took 18 wickets between them. Their opposite numbers, including the great Ashwin and Jadeja, took only 14.

In 1964, England’s record of 190 has been greatly extended, making it not just broken, but completely shattered.

Another fine precedent.

I was so caught up in the excitement that I forgot to mention the final score. Sorry!

India 202 all out (Siraj st Foakes b Hartley 12). England win by 28 runs and India fall to only their fourth defeat in the last 48 home Tests. It’s the greatest fightback ever by a visiting team in India – England were 190 behind on first innings. And it’s a reversal that could have come from Botham’s Ashes, except that England were playing at home then.

And here is the man of the moment, Tom Hartley, proudly wearing his England cap. The first thing he is asked could be a tough one for a northern Englishman – “Please flash your smile” – but he manages to oblige, a little shyly.

What was his thought process following the first inning? “This is quite difficult!”

Can you describe your experience working with Ben Stokes? “It’s always exciting, to be honest. I’m constantly scanning the field and wondering, ‘was that fielder there before?’. But we’ve all embraced it.”

When questioned about his batting performance, which played a key role in England’s victory, Hartley admits that he initially felt very anxious. However, scoring a few runs helped to calm his nerves and also gave him some insight into the condition of the pitch.

A good point.

Tom Hartley ends with a remarkable seven wickets for 62 runs in 26.2 overs. This is an outstanding achievement, as it is the best performance by an English spinner on their Test debut since 1933. Back then, James Langridge took seven wickets for 56 runs against West Indies at Old Trafford. This is a major success for Hartley, as well as Ollie Pope who played a crucial role, Ben Stokes who managed to take 20 wickets with a seemingly weak bowling lineup, and England’s team manager Rob Key who selected Hartley based on his height.

Siraj couldn’t resist attempting a powerful hit. Hartley successfully directed the ball past Siraj’s outer edge and Foakes, who has been calling for stumpings multiple times in the previous overs, finally succeeds in getting one.

It’s a stunning moment! England has achieved a truly remarkable and celebrated triumph.

In the 69th over, India’s score is 202-9, with Bumrah and Siraj at the crease. Stokes replaces Rehan with Mark Wood, who poses a threat not with his bowling, but with his fielding skills. Wood first kicks the ball onto the batter’s stumps, displaying a fine finish like a centre-forward, but it’s not quick enough to result in a run-out. Then, he uses his hand to flick a drive onto the non-striker’s stumps, but Siraj remains safely in his crease. India still needs 29 runs to win and these two have already added 25 runs in just 34 balls. The final over is about to begin!

In the 68th over, India’s score is 199-9 with Bumrah at 5 and Siraj at 12. Siraj, facing Hartley, hits a powerful sweep for four runs. Foakes believes he has stumped Siraj, but after reviewing the replays, Marais Erasmus determines that Siraj’s back foot was still touching the ground. Under pressure, Hartley bowls a no-ball. Siraj confidently hits a flick towards the leg side and takes a risk by challenging Stokes’s throw. He manages to make it back for two runs. The crowd’s excitement is evident as 20,000 people cheer in unison. India needs 32 more runs to win.

In the 67th over, India’s score is 191-9 with Bumrah and Siraj at the crease. Stokes shows courage by continuing to bowl despite having a limited number of runs to defend. Bumrah, who seems confused, hits a shot for two runs. Foakes once again appeals for a stumping, but it is unsuccessful. The game is not going in their favor.

In the 66th over of the match, India’s score stands at 189-9 with Bumrah and Siraj at the crease. Bumrah, who is up against the challenging bowler Hartley, attempts a powerful pull but misses. He then expresses frustration through a small dance. Foakes notices this and quickly removes the bails, appealing for a stumping. However, Bumrah’s foot is just back on the ground, denying a dramatic end to this unlikely turn of events.

The 65th over sees India at 188-9, with Bumrah at 2 and Siraj at 5. The floodlights are on and there’s a sense of urgency as the rabbits (lower-order batsmen) are in danger of getting out. Stokes brings back Rehan and Siraj attempts a flamboyant shot, but it narrowly misses Ben Duckett at backward point. Siraj tries again with a similar result. Rehan throws a googly, tricking Siraj but also getting past Ben Foakes for four byes. India needs 43 more runs while England only needs one wicket to win.

The 64th over saw India at 180-9 with Bumrah and Siraj batting. India only has their two weaker players left to rely on. Despite this, they are trying to stay optimistic and managed to score five runs in the last four balls of Hartley’s over. However, Hartley’s figures of 6-53 are now the best for an English debutant in a Test match in India since John Lever’s impressive 7-46 in 1976-77.

Ashwin abruptly altered his approach, aggressively advancing towards the pitch in hopes of a powerful strike. However, he ended up completely missing the ball and giving Ben Foakes a simple opportunity for a stumping. Tom Hartley has claimed six wickets for 48 runs. This is yet another small victory for Ben Stokes, who had chosen to extend the playing time in order to push for a win this evening.

Two is brought by one! And Hartley has six wickets!!!

In the 63rd over, India is at 177-8 with Ashwin scoring 28 runs and Bumrah at 0. Root replaces Leach, who is struggling and also because Root was able to dismiss Bumrah for zero in the previous innings.

62nd over: India 176-8 (Ashwin 27, Bumrah 0) That was another fine bowling change from Stokes, who took Root off to give Hartley one more spell before the close. He even gave him two slips, who were standing so close together that they could hold hands if they’d felt like it. Bowlers need captains to show faith in them, and here that faith has been rewarded with a five-for from a bowler who was spanked all round the field on the first day.

This was a magnificent play. Hartley’s ball was sent in at an angle, landing on the middle or even middle-and-leg, and it sharply turned to strike the top of the off. Despite his resemblance to Christopher Cazenove, his bowling is reminiscent of Monty Panesar at his prime.

What a game changer! Tom Hartley’s debut performance earned him a remarkable five wickets.

61st over: India 173-7 (Bharat 28, Ashwin 24) After Rehan is substituted out, Jack Leach takes his place on the field. However, he is also struggling and begins with a wide ball. He then gives Ashwin the opportunity to make a couple of runs with a short delivery, which Ashwin takes advantage of with a two and a four. This partnership has now reached fifty runs in just 20.4 overs, showing their resilience as they have batted for a third of the innings. They have successfully stabilized the situation and are now leading the charge. India only needs 58 more runs to win.

Rowan from Hobart, an Australian, admits to never supporting England in the past, but their impressive performance in ideal conditions for India (pun intended) has won them over. Despite this, they also found themselves rooting for the inexperienced Windies team and their remarkable determination, as they pulled off a sensational victory against Australia in a Test match on home soil.

Amazing competitions are impossible to resist.

In the 60th over, India’s score is 164-7 with Bharat scoring 27 and Ashwin scoring 17. Root replaces Hartley as the bowler and the batters manage to score three singles. Throughout the game, it has been evident that the Indian team has shown a lot of respect towards England’s senior players, but not as much towards the newer players (until Hartley’s impressive start to this innings). One can only imagine how well Jimmy (presumably James Anderson) would have performed if he had been given the same level of respect. His figures could have potentially been 24-15-21-2.

“Is the actor Hartley?” asks David Cross concisely. “Christopher Cazenove?” Good guess.

India is at 161-7 in the 59th over, with Bharat scoring 25 and Ashwin scoring 16. Rehan is proving to be an effective bowler, but not in the way Stokes had hoped. Despite this, Bharat is starting to show his batting skills and hits a four over mid-on from one of Rehan’s deliveries. Out of the 14 balls he has faced from Rehan, Bharat has scored 14 runs, compared to only 11 runs off 41 balls from the other bowlers. India still needs 70 runs to win, making it a torturous yet glorious match.

The 58th over saw India’s score at 155-7, with Bharat (20) and Ashwin (15) at the crease. The batsmen seemed to be taking more risks, as evidenced by a possible run-out opportunity and a close call for Bharat after attempting to leave the ball. However, Root’s impressive dive from slip to gully prevented any further damage. Despite the close call, Bharat showed determination by following it up with a strong shot to midwicket for two runs.

In the 57th over, India’s score is 153-7 with Bharat and Ashwin at the crease. The audience is getting louder as the sun sets, and they finally have something to celebrate when Rehan’s delivery is short and Bharat successfully cuts it for four runs. This is his first boundary after facing 41 balls. He gets another unintentional boundary when he tries to dodge a high ball, resulting in a toe-end that flies over Root at slip. India still needs 78 runs to win. Is there a chance they can pull off a comeback?

In the 56th over, India’s score is 144-7 with Bharat at 9 runs and Ashwin at 15 runs. Hartley maintains pressure with a maiden over. Despite the quiet progress, the two batsmen have performed admirably, lasting for 15 overs and adding 25 runs to the total, bringing the target down to 87.

Colum Fordham remarks with sophistication, “I was recently admiring the impressive sculptures of Phydias at an exhibition, but when I checked the OBO, I was even more amazed. It would be a monumental triumph for England! I can hardly believe it. My apologies.”

In the 55th over, India’s score is 144-7 with Bharat scoring 9 runs and Ashwin scoring 15 runs. Wood is replaced by Rehan, a cricketer similar to Stokes in terms of being an all-rounder, skilled fielder, and determined player who makes things happen. Rehan bowls an impressive over with one ball that could potentially take a wicket – an over-spinning ball that turns into a powerful bounce. Bharat skillfully avoids getting hit by moving his head out of the way.

In the 54th over, India’s score is 143-7 with Bharat at 9 runs and Ashwin at 14 runs. Hartley tries to get Bharat out with a trick play, but his hands are gentle and the ball doesn’t reach Root at slip. As this partnership has been going on for about an hour, Stokes must take action. He might consider bringing back Rehan Ahmed before it becomes too risky.

In the 53rd over of the match, India has scored 142 runs with 7 wickets down. Bharat and Ashwin are currently at the crease and Wood, who is known as England’s consistent bowler, has only given away 14 runs in his seven overs. India requires 89 more runs to win.

52nd over: India 142-7 (Bharat 9, Ashwin 13) Root takes a break as Hartley comes back to bowl. During the first innings, one of the commentators mentioned that he had the highest numbers for a Test debutant (25-0-131-2). However, it seems that this record only applies to England and not all players. Nevertheless, it’s still impressive – Hartley has now improved greatly with figures of 19-4-42-4. Despite his posh appearance resembling a 1970s English actor, he has been given the role of Cinderella – a humble one indeed.

In the 51st over, India is at 140-7 with Bharat scoring 9 runs and Ashwin scoring 11. Wood demonstrates why he was chosen by Stokes by utilizing some reverse swing, but it is not very strong and Ashwin is able to handle it. Earlier, a caption informed us that when India loses a home Test, the spin is more prominent compared to when they win. Even a mediocre spinner can become dangerous with the help of a Bunsen burner.

Simon Gates comments, “Shamar Joseph’s performance in the other Test was exceptional, but didn’t Australia give it to them with their first-innings declaration? I recall England doing something similar recently…”

In the 50th over, India’s score is 138-7, with Bharat at 9 and Ashwin at 10. As the shadow of a large stand moves closer to the crease, Root delivers a ball to Ashwin, who is also an off-spinner. After five dot balls, Ashwin manages to score two runs by cutting the ball past cover, bringing his individual score into double figures. While Ashwin has the potential to lead India to victory, he will need strong support from Bharat, especially with only Bumrah and Siraj left to bat.

“Good evening Tim,” Phil Withall greets, reporting from a very humid Queensland. He shares that he woke up to the news of Tooting and Mitcham United’s 5-0 victory and Ipswich Town’s loss to Maidstone in the FA Cup. He then mentions the impressive defeat of the Australians by the West Indies. Currently, England is close to achieving an unexpected triumph. Phil adds that if Norwich manages to beat Liverpool tomorrow morning, he may have experienced the best day of his sporting life.

In the 49th over, India’s score is 136-7 with Bharat scoring 8 runs and Ashwin scoring 7. Stokes takes the place of Leach and Wood comes in, but no slip is given. Where does he anticipate a wicket to arise from? Possibly a clean-bowled with a yorker or chipped to mid-off with a cutter. However, neither of these occurs and Wood maintains the pressure by only allowing two singles. India needs 95 runs. These two batsmen have stabilized the game, lasting for 8.4 overs without causing much trouble for England.

In the 48th over, India’s score is 134-7 with Bharat and Ashwin at bat. Root is bowling and makes a strong appeal against Bharat, but Stokes decides not to review it as he believes it was too high. The pitch may be tricky, but it is not lifeless. Bharat responds with a two-run slog towards midwicket, where Jimmy Anderson, the substitute fielder, retrieves the ball. Do you remember him?

The English team’s unstable bowling has dominated since the tea break, taking four wickets in just one hour. Ben Stokes, in particular, has made a remarkable run-out and has skillfully managed his resources. Will he be able to complete the task? Can India suffer a defeat on their home ground, a rare occurrence in the last 47 Tests? Only time will reveal the outcome. England has a chance to win tonight, while India must extend the game to the fifth day.

The 47th over sees India at 131-7 with Bharat scoring 5 and Ashwin scoring 7. Leach makes a mistake by bowling a short ball, which Ashwin takes advantage of and hits for a four. This is the first boundary in 54 balls and only the second one in the last 20 overs. India now needs 100 runs.

Diana Luther Powell reports, “I just got back from taking the dog for a walk and saw this puzzling scorecard. Ashwin – we all know his capabilities… Looks like I’ll have to take the dog out again!” Ha. So you don’t bring your phone on your dog walks?

The 46th over of the game sees India at 125-7 with Bharat scoring 4 runs and Ashwin scoring 2. Stokes decides to give Hartley a break and brings himself on to bowl. This could be a good opportunity to bring Rehan Ahmed back into the attack, as he only bowled one over for 13 runs earlier. However, Stokes plays it safe and brings back Root, who he trusted to open the bowling today. Root gives away a couple of singles.

In the 45th over, India’s score is at 123-7 with Bharat scoring 3 runs and Ashwin scoring 1. Leach attempts to break through Ashwin’s defense with a subtle spin, similar to Axar, but Ashwin manages to defend it with a quick bat movement. India requires 108 more runs to win.

Simon McMahon remarks, “If England manages to succeed today, despite being behind by 190 in the first innings, it will be considered a remarkable Test victory. This would be the second win of the day, following the events in Brisbane earlier. Will Manchester United and Newport County continue the trend of unexpected upsets by making it a hat-trick in the FA Cup later?” Ha.

Reworded: The 44th over saw India at 122-7, with Bharat scoring 2 runs and Ashwin scoring 1. Hartley delivered a over with five dots and a single. Richard Sandall has a question for readers: “Do you also do the one-hand squinty poke in the morning to get to page 1 of the OBO without seeing the score? It adds an element of jeopardy and joy to the experience!”

In the 43rd over, India’s score is 121-7 with Bharat and Ashwin at the crease. Despite a bruised knee, Leach continues to bowl and only concedes one run in the over. He has now bowled seven overs, causing trouble for the Indian batsmen with his spin and taking one wicket for 17 runs. According to Kevin Pietersen, this team is united.

In the 42nd over, India’s score is 120-7 with Bharat at 0 and Ashwin at 1. Stokes makes a mistake and is convinced by Hartley and Foakes to review for caught behind against Ashwin. However, the umpire disagrees and UltraEdge confirms this, showing no indication of contact as Ashwin tries to sweep the ball. As a result, England loses their review.

In the 41st over, India’s score is 120-7 with Bharat at 0 and Ashwin at 1. Stokes, who just made an impressive run-out, is now strategically switching his bowlers. Despite a seemingly weak attack at the beginning of the match, consisting of only one seamer, a rusty spinner, two inexperienced players, and Root, it is now proving to be too difficult for India to play against.

Will Vignoles admits that the current tour has surpassed his expectations, especially after the disaster in the previous tour. If England emerges victorious, will critics finally acknowledge the leadership skills of Stokes and McCullum?

The West Indies put on an impressive show, accompanied by the incredible sound of Ian Smith going wild. Ha.

Leach was substituted for Root by Stokes, and on his second delivery, Leach convinced Shreyas to hit the ball directly into Root’s slip. It was a lackluster dismissal for an aggressive batsman. India requires 112 runs while England only needs to take three more wickets.

Another one!

In the 40th over of the match, India’s score is 119-6 with Shreyas scoring 13 runs and Bharat scoring 0. Unfortunately, Jadeja had to leave the field due to a hamstring injury, which is a major setback for India. This also means that India only has one experienced batsman, Ashwin, left in their lineup. However, surprisingly, they do not send him out to bat at the moment. Instead, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of two relatively inexperienced players – Shreyas, playing his 13th Test match, and Srikar Bharat, playing his sixth. Both of them are facing another rookie player, Tom Hartley, who bowls a maiden over to Bharat and manages to take 4 wickets for 40 runs in his dream figures of 16-3-40-4.

Source: theguardian.com