Kohli, Ashwin consolidate, as lead exceeds 350

Chennai: A resolute Indian skipper Virat Kohli and an aggressive R Ashwin consolidated the home team’s
position further on a crumbling pitch at lunch on the third day of the second test against England here today.

India were 156 for six in 48 overs at the break, with Kohli batting on 38 (86 balls, 5×4) and Ashwin ‘sweeping’ to aquickfire 34 (38 balls, 5×4), stretching the overall lead to 351 runs, to push for a series levelling win after losing
the opening test by 227 runs.

Kohli and Ashwin have so far added 50 runs for the unfinished seventh wicket in 11.5 overs, as the honours were evenly shared between the two teams with the session yielding 102 runs and five wickets.

Resuming at 54 for one, India, enjoying a massive and handy 195 run first innings lead, lost wickets quickly as left arm spinner Jack Leach and offie Moeen Ali, despite conceding some easy runs, troubled the batsmen with sharp turn and bounce, with the odd ball keeping very low.

Leach bagged three wickets and Mooen Ali two wickets. Overnight batsmen Rohit Sharma (26) was smartly stumped by Ben Foakes off Leach, when he leaned forward for a drive, and Cheteswar Pujara (seven) was run out without adding to his overnight score, thanks to good work by Pope at the short leg.

Big hittting southpaw Rishab Pant was promoted up in the order, but he went for big heave against Leach and was easily stumped by Foakes, before vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (10), who appeared in good touch, hitting two
successive fours of Moeen Ali, was gobbled at forward short leg of the same bowler.

Axar Patel (7) did not last long and was trapped by Moeen ali, who bagged his second wicket. However, Virat, who appeared in complete control and using his feet well against the spinners, hit five delectable boundaries, while a more aggressive Ashwin used the sweep shots effectively to smother the turn and ensured that the over lead swelled past 350 runs.

Following is the scoreboard :

India (first innings) : 329

England (first innings) : 134

India (second innings) :

Rohit Sharma st Foakes b Leach 26

Shubman Gill lbw Jack Leach 14

Cheteswar Pujara (run out) 7

Virat Kohli (batting) 38

Rishab Pant st Foakes b Leach 8

Ajinkya Rahane c Pope b Moeen Ali 10

Axar Patel lbw Moeen Ali 7

R Ashwin (batting) 34

Extras (b-5, lb-7) 12

Total : 156 for six in 48 overs.

Fall of wickets : 1-42, 2-55, 3-55, 4-65, 5-86, 6-106

Bowling :

Olly Stone 2-0-8-0

Jack Leach 22-5-63-3

Moeen Ali 17-5-46-2

Joe Root 4-0-15-0

Stuart Broad 2-1-5-0

Dan Lawrence 1-0-7-0


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