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25-Feb-2024 11:09:00 GMT
Ind vs Eng - 4th Test, Ranchi

Ashwin five-fer and Kuldeep inspire Ranchi fightback

India 307 (Jurel 90, Jaiswal 73, Bashir 5-119) and 40 for 0 (Rohit 24*) need another 152 runs to beat England 353 (Root 122*, Robinson 58, Jadeja 4-67, Akash 3-78) and 145 (Crawley 60, Ashwin 5-51, Kuldeep 4-22) by 152 runs

Ranchi: England's hopes of forcing a series decider faded dramatically in the face of a stirring India fightback on day three of the fourth Test in Ranchi.

With dogged lower-order resistance and spin bowling of the highest quality, India turned the match on its head. From beginning Sunday 134 behind with only three first-innings wickets in hand, the hosts ended 40-0 in pursuit of 192 to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.

They were dragged to 307 by Dhruv Jurel's 90. The wicketkeeper, crucially dropped on 59 by Ollie Robinson, added 76 with Kuldeep Yadav and another 40 with number 10 Akash Deep.

Off-spinner Shoaib Bashir ended with 5-119, at 20 years and 135 days the second-youngest England bowler to claim a five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

England's lead was a precious 46, every run of which seemed vital as India's spinners conjured tricks from the surface on a riveting, tension-filled afternoon.

Zak Crawley's attractive 60 and Jonny Bairstow's counter-punching 30 were invaluable. No-one else passed 17 in England's 145, Ravichandran Ashwin magnificent for 5-51 and Kuldeep unerring in his 4-22.

India were given 25 minutes to bat before the close and used them to great effect, scoring at five an over. Captain Rohit Sharma has 24 and Yashasvi Jaiswal 16.

Somehow, England need an instant rally on the fourth morning to keep the series alive.

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