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15-Feb-2021 11:39:00 GMT
Ind vs Eng - 2nd Test, Chennai, day 3

England facing heavy defeat after Ashwin century

England 134 (Foakes 42*, Ashwin 5-43) and 53 for 3 (Axar 2-15) need another 429 runs to beat India 329 (Rohit 161, Rahane 67, Pant 58*, Moeen 4-128, Stone 3-47) and 286 (Aswhin 106, Kohli 62, Moeen 4-98, Leach 4-100)

Chennai: A century from local hero Ravichandran Ashwin heaped misery on England in the second Test against India at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Monday.

Ashwin made 106, sharing 96 with Virat Kohli, who scored 62, to take India to 286 in their second innings.

The off-spinner took 5-43 in England's first innings and, after being given lives on 28, 56 and 70, added a hundred to a five-wicket haul for the third time in his career. Only the great Ian Botham has completed such a double in more Tests.

Set an improbable 482 to win on a pitch often exploding when the ball lands, England lost three wickets in the 19 overs they had to face before the close.

After Dom Sibley was lbw to Axar Patel, Rory Burns edged Ashwin to gully and nightwatchman Jack Leach survived only two balls to leave the tourists 53-3 at the close.

With so much time left in the game, a draw is out of the question, with the four-match series set to be level at 1-1 going into the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad that starts on 24 February.

For two days, the pitch has been the subject of much debate - whether the excessive turn on offer from the beginning of the match is suitable for Test cricket.

Still, even accounting for the advantage the India gained by winning the toss, the main reason for their dominance on Saturday and Sunday was their superior performance, and they rammed home their advantage to give the conditions further context on Monday.

As well as England's spinners have bowled - Leach and Moeen Ali have shared 14 wickets - they have not been able to exert the same control as their India counterparts, with a loose delivery rarely far away.

With the bat, Ashwin and Kohli showed that run-scoring is possible - particularly against the older, softer ball - if batsmen can find a way to get in.

As if to emphasise England's shortcomings, Sibley had only three to his name when he tried to work Axar on the leg side and was palpably leg before.

Burns showed admirable intent in his 25 but made the mistake of closing the face on Ashwin to offer a leading edge, exposing Leach, who turned Axar to leg slip.

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