West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd starred with bat and ball but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Chattogram Challengers form going down by 18 runs to the Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Friday.

After winning the toss and batting first at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Shakib Al Hasan led the way with 62 as the Riders posted 187-8 from their 20 overs.

Mahedi Hasan also chipped in with 34 and Rony Talukdar hit 25. Shepherd was the pick of the Chattogram bowlers with 3-27 from his four overs while Salauddin Sakil and Shohidul Islam both took a pair of wickets, each.

Shepherd then hit four five fours and six sixes on his way to a top score of 66 not out off 30 balls but it wasn’t enough as the Challengers finished their innings 169-6.

Tom Bruce and Captain Shuvagata Hom supported Shepherd with 24 and 21, respectively, against an excellent 3-14 off four overs from South African all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius.

Mahedi Hasan completed a fine all-round performance with 2-17 from his four overs.

Mark Wood applauded Ben Duckett’s “bravery and skill” after the opening batter led England’s remarkable counteroffensive to disrupt India’s bowlers on day two of the third Test.

India racked up an imposing 445 and kept England in the field for 130.5 overs in sapping conditions but Duckett put pressure back on the hosts with a boundary-laden 133 not out from just 118 balls.

The left-hander helped England motor along to 207 for two at nearly six an over by stumps, manipulating the field with his customary sweeps off the spinners and straight drives and carves to the quicks.

Given the circumstances of the match, as well as the 1-1 scoreline in the series, this was a monumental effort from Duckett, whose first iteration as a Test cricketer ended in India in November 2016.

“To be that far behind in the game and go out and play like that showed real bravery and skill,” England team-mate Wood said.

“Sometimes it looked like India weren’t sure of their fields. The way they changed the field and then he’d hit it somewhere else, it was such a skilful innings against a good attack.

“He’s a nightmare to bowl at in the nets, we try to get him to leave one but he never leaves any.

“It’s been hot, he’s spent all that time in the field, so mentally to have that capability to then go out there and play with the freedom and clarity of mind to play those shots and pick the right ball and still be there at the end… I’m delighted for him.”

Duckett, who put on an opening 89 with Zak Crawley and 93 with Ollie Pope, had a torrid time on his only tour previous of India as he was worked over by Ravichandran Ashwin before being dropped for several years.

Ashwin has dismissed Duckett five times in five Tests but was curiously not introduced until the 12th over, when England were on 71 for none, and he claimed his 500th Test wicket by dismissing Crawley.

There was no stopping Duckett, who collected 21 fours and two sixes before surviving a tight lbw shout against Ashwin in the final over, with the ball found to have pitched a fraction outside leg stump.

“Ben Duckett is a phenomenal talent so credit to him, he’s made a wonderful hundred,” Ashwin said. “I wanted to clap, but the hardcore competitor in me didn’t allow me to clap, but I’m very happy for Ben.

“I would have really loved to bowl at him when he was not at 60-70 runs. He is a very different player to bowl at when he is on nought. A couple of his shots, the slog sweeps were really, really special.”

Wood was the pick of England’s attack with four for 114, while he also affected the run out of the dangerous Sarfaraz Khan, on a pitch that is likely to get worse for batting as the match progresses.

England squandered five opportunities over four-and-a-half sessions by dropping three catches and missing two referrals although Wood was just happy to get off the pitch by the end.

“I’m absolutely over the moon to be off my feet,” Wood said. “It was hard, hard toil. It’s a good wicket for the batters but the odd ball spins, the odd ball doesn’t bounce or there’s a bit of reverse.

“It keeps you in the game where you feel in the game but it’s not a wicket where you blast people out, it feels to me like hard work and you have to try and try and try.

“It was a bizarre day, it almost felt like we should be getting more wickets but then the game wasn’t going anywhere. Personally, I would have liked to have gone for less runs.

“Yes, my role is to be attacking and try to get wickets but sometimes I felt like I maybe leaked a bit too much. But I’m delighted that I got four wickets.”

Ravichandran Ashwin took his 500th Test wicket for India in the third match of the series against England.

Ashwin dismissed Zak Crawley for 15 in the first innings and here, the PA news agency looks at the 37-year-old’s impressive record.

Landmark wicket

Ashwin has reached 500 in his 98th Test since making his debut in 2011 – a relatively late starter aged 25, having made his limited-overs bow the previous year.

His wickets have come at an average of 23.95, with 34 five-wicket hauls including a best of seven for 59 against New Zealand in October 2016 as he also picked up his best match figures of 13 for 140.

He has 114 wickets against Australia and 98 against England though in terms of favourite opponents, his 66 wickets at an average of 15.44 against New Zealand or 75 at 20.48 against the West Indies may take the honours.

England captain Ben Stokes is his most regular victim with 12 dismissals, one more than Australia’s David Warner. He has 277 wickets caught, including 46 by the wicketkeeper, 110 lbw, 100 bowled and 13 stumped.

Quiet dominance

Ashwin has rarely been the headline name in the India team but his key role in their bowling attack makes remarkable reading.

In the 98 Tests he has played, India have taken 1,655 wickets – meaning Ashwin has been responsible for over 30 per cent of them.

He has more wickets than the second- and third-leading wicket-takers in those matches combined – fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja on 231 and seamer Mohammed Shami on 161 – more five-wicket innings than the next six combined and 10-wicket matches (eight) than all other India bowlers in those games (five).

With 3,308 runs at a batting average of 26.67 for good measure, Ashwin has been invaluable to India for over a decade without necessarily claiming the spotlight.

500 club

Ashwin is the ninth man to take 500 Test wickets and only the second after Muttiah Muralitharan to get there in fewer than 100 Tests.

Former Sri Lanka spinner Muralitharan took just 89 Tests to reach 500 and ended his career with a record 800 wickets at an average of 22.72 in 133 Tests, one of which was played for a World XI in 2005 and contributed five to his wicket tally.

His total stands 92 clear of the late Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne in second, with England’s James Anderson the leading active player on 696.

Anil Kumble, Ashwin’s predecessor in the India spin ranks, took 619 with Anderson’s long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad the final member of the 600 club on 604.

Glenn McGrath took 563 for Australia and Courtney Walsh 519 for the West Indies, with Australia spinner Nathan Lyon two behind Walsh.

After Ashwin there will not be another addition to the 500 club for some years to come. New Zealand seamer Tim Southee is the next active player on a distant 376, and aged 35, while time is also against Australia’s Mitchell Starc (353). South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is younger at 28 but has yet to take 300 wickets.

Ben Duckett’s terrific unbeaten century led England’s fightback against India as he repelled even Ravichandran Ashwin on the day the off-spinning great celebrated his 500th Test wicket.

India racked up an imposing 445 in Rajkot, aided by some slipshod England fielding, but Duckett’s boundary-laden 133 not out off just 118 deliveries rocketed the tourists to 207 for two after day two of this third Test.

Duckett’s first iteration as a Test cricketer met its demise in India after he was tormented by Ashwin in November 2016 but he laid any ghosts to rest with a classy innings, reaching his ton off 88 balls.

It was the quickest by an Englishman in India as he swept the spinners to distraction in the final session as well as driving and cutting the quicks with regularity, collecting 21 fours and two sixes.

He refused to allow anyone to settle, which meant Ashwin’s milestone wicket was overshadowed after dismissing Zak Crawley for 15 to become just the ninth bowler and second Indian to join the 500 club.

Ashwin had earlier been responsible for England starting their innings on five without loss after encroaching on the protected area of the pitch while batting.

Ravindra Jadeja had been given India’s first and only warning on day one so when Ashwin did the same attempting a single, England were handed five runs. That became six for none without a legal ball bowled when Jasprit Bumrah overstepped at the start of England’s innings before tea.

India’s total was striking and while England were typically undaunted, Duckett was given an initial working over by Mohammed Siraj, who beat the left-hander’s outside edge three times in a single over.

But Duckett accelerated rapidly after tea, taking 10 fours in his first 27 balls of the session, picking the gaps with alarming ease as he repeatedly swept left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav and drove and carved through the off-side off Siraj.

Given Duckett’s past struggles against Ashwin, dismissed five times in five Tests, it was a surprise he was held back until the 12th over with England on 76 for none. Duckett was on 55 and Ashwin did strike for his landmark wicket but it was Crawley who spooned a sweep out of the rough to short fine-leg.

The end of an 89-run opening stand did not deter Duckett, who slog swept Ashwin for six, moments after surviving an India lbw review on 79, saved by an inside edge following Bumrah’s searing yorker.

Duckett might have been on course for England’s fastest Test century at one stage but he spent 12 balls in the 90s before driving Siraj down the ground for his 19th four to bring up England’s second quickest ton by an opener – two balls slower than Crawley managed against Pakistan in December 2022.

The expensive Siraj ended Duckett’s 93-run stand with Ollie Pope, given out for 39 on review after being struck on the knee roll but England, motoring along at six an over, still finished strongly.

They began the day seeking quick wickets as India resumed on 326 for five. James Anderson winkled out night watcher Kuldeep after drawing a faint edge while Jadeja, on 112, tamely chipped back to Joe Root, who partially atoned for shelling Rohit Sharma the day before, a drop which cost England 104 runs.

India might have been 331 for seven but debutant Dhruv Jurel was selected ahead of Srikar Bharat for his batting and Ashwin possesses five Test hundreds. They were both allowed to settle as England lacked their usual vigour and the only moment of concern for India before lunch was Ashwin’s penalisation.

Ashwin remonstrated with Joel Wilson, putting his hand on the umpire’s shoulder, and seemed distinctly unimpressed for a while afterwards but refused to succumb to a rush of blood.

India’s batters accumulated steadily but Jurel had two reprieves on 32 at the afternoon’s outset, with Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes spilling chest-high catches. They were both difficult, Stokes’ especially, but took England’s missed opportunities up to five – three drops and two failed referrals.

India had gone beyond 400 when Anderson held on to one, albeit at the second attempt, as Ashwin slammed to mid-on for 37 off Rehan Ahmed, who was twice deposited back over his head for six by Jurel.

Rehan gained revenge as Jurel fell four short of a fifty after feathering an attempted cut but Bumrah clattered 26 before being pinned in front by Mark Wood, the pick of England’s attack with four for 114.

NB: You can catch the exciting action between India and England on Sportsmax.


England were sloppy in the field as India racked up an imposing 445 on the second day of the third Test in Rajkot.

Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes reprieved Dhruv Jurel when the debutant was on 32 and, while the drops were not too ruinous, England created 15 wicket-taking opportunities in total just to bundle out India.

They were kept in the field for 130.5 overs in baking hot temperatures before reaching 31 without loss at tea, their total partly swelled by Ravichandran Ashwin running on the pitch when he was batting.

Ravindra Jadeja had received India’s first and final warning the day before for encroaching on the protected area, so when Ashwin did the same after setting off for an aborted single, umpire Joel Wilson signalled that England would be awarded five penalty runs at the start of their innings.

Jadeja would have been expected to marshal the lower order but he was dismissed for 112, leaving India on 331 for seven but Jurel (46) and Ashwin (37) helped India add 114 for the last three wickets.

England sought quick wickets as India resumed on 326 for five and the hosts added just five runs before both overnight batters were back in the pavilion. James Anderson winkled out nightwatcher Kuldeep Yadav, who edged behind, while Joe Root gratefully accepted a return catch to see off Jadeja.

It was partial redemption for Root following his drop of Rohit Sharma the previous day, which ended up costing England 104 runs, but India were far from finished with both Jurel and Ashwin capable batters.

A reshuffle in India’s order brought out Ashwin at nine, despite possessing five Test tons, and he and Jurel batted in a measured fashion, with England appearing to lack their usual vigour in the field. Jurel showed his class by uppercutting a neck-high Mark Wood bouncer for six.

A moment of drama arrived before lunch when Ashwin was sanctioned for running along the middle of the pitch, giving England five penalty runs at the start of their innings. Clearly unhappy at the decision, Ashwin nevertheless refused to succumb to a rush of blood.

Jurel had two reprieves after the resumption as Pope put down a simple chance at midwicket, while the usually reliable Stokes was unable to cling on to a sharper chance at short fine-leg.

Jurel compounded England’s lackadaisical efforts by slamming Rehan Ahmed for two sixes, although the leg-spinner took out both set batters after India had passed 400. Ashwin advanced and slammed a googly to mid-on, where James Anderson held on at the second attempt, while Jurel edged a cut shot behind.

Again, England’s work was not done as Bumrah teed off with abandon, slamming Tom Hartley high over deep midwicket, in a lively 26 off 28 balls before being trapped plumb in front by Wood.

England started their innings on five for none without facing a single delivery after Ashwin’s earlier transgression and they got a further run after Bumrah got under way with a front-foot no-ball.

Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, who was fine to bowl despite a blow to his knee while batting, delivered a probing new-ball spell but Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett were given few alarms in the half-hour before tea.

Joe Root made partial amends for his costly drop of Rohit Sharma by taking care of Ravindra Jadeja but England were still made to toil against India in Rajkot.

Root put down a difficult chance when Rohit was on 27 on the opening day of the third Test, with the India captain amassing a further 104 runs, but the Yorkshireman held on when offered a return catch by Jadeja on the second morning.

Jadeja’s dismissal for 112 left India on 331 for seven but hopes of a swift conclusion to the innings were thwarted by the obduracy of debutant Dhruv Jurel (31 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (25no).

The pair put on an unbroken 57 to carry India to 388 for seven at lunch, although England had an unexpected helping hand from Ashwin, whose unnecessary encroachment on the middle of the pitch led to five penalty runs being awarded to the tourists.

Jadeja was officially warned about running on the so-called ‘danger zone’ the previous evening and any further indiscretion leads to the opposing team starting their innings on five without loss.

Ashwin pushed for a run before being sent back but because he had not moved to the side, increasing the risk of scuffing up the surface, he was disciplined, much to his chagrin, by umpire Joel Wilson.

England began the day needing quick wickets as India resumed on 326 for five and they saw off the overnight batters within the first five overs, Anderson collecting Test dismissal 696 after winkling out nightwatcher Kuldeep Yadav.

Anderson found a hint of away movement with a relatively new ball to take the outside edge and Ben Foakes took a simple catch.

Root came within a whisker of off-stump on a couple of occasions before gratefully accepting a tame chip from Jadeja, who would have been expected to marshal the lower order when the day began.

But Jurel averages 46 in first-class cricket while India’s number nine Ashwin has five Test centuries so England’s work was far from complete. Jurel showed his class by upper-cutting Mark Wood, the pick of England’s bowlers the day before, for six.

Tom Hartley beat the bat on a couple of occasions and rare edges dropped short of fielders as India crept towards a score upwards of 400, even if Ashwin’s transgression gives England a leg up at the start of their innings.

Windward Islands Volcanoes remained in control against Barbados Pride, as they secured first innings honours on day two of their West Indies Championship encounter at Kensington Park, in Jamaica, on Thursday.

The Volcanoes capitalised on the solid platform laid by Jeremy Solozano (86) and Kimani Melius (53) to post a 111-run lead, after their first innings reply to the Pride’s 214, ended at 325. Pride in their second innings, are in a spot of bother at 72-4, trailing by 39 runs, with Akeem Jordan, on four, set to be joined by Shane Dorwich when play resumes on Friday.

Scores: Barbados Pride 214 & 72-4 (24.1 overs); Windward Islands Volcanoes 325 (98.1 overs)

Solozano and Melius, who posted 123 on Wednesday’s opening day, added 23 and one to their respective overnight scores on 63 and 52. But Johann Jeremiah (32), Kavem Hodge (26) and Sunil Ambris (72), maintained a steady tempo to the innings, to the point where even with their dismissals, the damage was already done.

Ambris scored quickly in his 79-ball knock which had two sixes and nine fours, with Shemar Springer (29) capping the innings where runs are concerned, as the lowered order batsmen failed to trouble the score.

Jomel Warrican led the Pride’s bowling with 5-59 in 24.1 overs, inclusive of seven maidens.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite (18) and the rest of the top order again failed to get into rhythm, and again it has left the Pride’s struggling. Zachary McCaskie (nine), Sheyne Moseley (16) and Jonathan Drakes (20) all fell to four different bowlers which basically summed up their poor run of form in this encounter.

It is now left to be seen if Kevin Wickham can repeat his first innings heroics with some assistance from Dorwich and others to possibly keep the Pride alive in the contest.

The 2024 West Indies Championship second round fixture between the Jamaica Scorpions and the Combined Campuses and Colleges is evenly poised after day two at Sabina Park on Thursday.

The hosts ended the day 259-6 from 73.1 overs, trailing CCC by 48 runs on first innings.

38-year-old Chadwick Walton, playing his first season of first-class cricket since 2019, led the way for the Scorpions with a masterful 168 off 245 balls including 16 fours and five sixes.

Walton shared in a 169-run opening partnership with Carlos Brown, who was the Scorpions’ next highest scorer with 48.

No other batsman was able to make any meaningful contribution as 17-year-old leg-spinner Zishan Motara ripped through the bulk of the Jamaican batting on the way to figures of 4-69 from 22.1 overs.

Earlier, CCC ended up being bowled out for 307 off 97 overs, adding a further 47 runs to their overnight score.

Jonathan Carter finished 135* off 217 balls against three-wicket hauls from Gordon Bryan and Ojay Shields and two wickets from Abhijai Mansingh.

Full Scores: Combined Campuses and Colleges 307 all out off 97 overs (Jonathan Carter 135*, Shamarh Brooks 36, Sion Hackett 30, Zishan Motara 28, Gordon Bryan 3-66, Ojay Shields 3-78, Abhijai Mansingh 2-37)

Jamaica Scorpions 259-6 off 73.1 overs (Chadwick Walton 163, Carlos Brown 48, Zishan Motara 4-69)

A well-played century by Jyd Goolie upstaged Ashmead Nedd’s six-wicket haul as Trinidad and Tobago Red Force tightened their grip on the West Indies Championship contest against West Indies Academy at Conaree Sports Club, in St Kitts.

Goolie’s 113, his second First Class century, propelled Red Force to 329, a first innings lead of 166, which West Indies Academy is struggling to get to, as they ended Thursday’s second day at 84-3. Mbeki Joseph, on 34, and captain Nyeem Young, on three, were at the crease for West Indies Academy, who are still 82 runs behind.

Scores: West Indies Academy 163 & 84-3; Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 329 (115.4 overs) lead by 82 runs

Earlier, the 26-year-old Goolie, who resumed on 15, patiently played his way to top score in the Red Force innings, stroking 10 fours and two sixes in the 248-ball knock. His partnership with Amir Jangoo (40), who added only 16 to his overnight score of 24, easily pushed Red Force past the 35-run deficit from overnight.

However, both were later included in Nedd’s six scalps, along with Tion Webster (nine), Anderson Phillip (16), Jayden Seales (zero), and Jason Mohammed, who went for five on Wednesday’s first day. Bryan Charles was left unbeaten on 25.

Nedd ended with 6-78 in 36.4 overs, including nine maidens, with support from Joshua Bishop, who had 3-116.

Like it was in their first innings, West Indies Academy’s top order again failed to really fire, leaving them with an uphill task to not only overturn the current deficit, but to also put a substantial score on the board to challenge the Red Force, if they are required to bat a second time.

Bryan Charles removed Rashawn Worrell (12) and Ackeem Aguste (34), while Anderson Phillip accounted for Kadeem Alleyne, who went without scoring.

The Leeward Islands Hurricanes have asserted their dominance over the Guyana Harpy Eagles in their second-round West Indies Championships match at Warner Park in St Kitts. After posting a commanding first innings total of 352, the Hurricanes through some excellent bowling restricted the Harpy Eagles to 188, establishing a substantial lead. Batting a second time, Hurricanes were 52-1 leading by 216 runs with nine wickets in hand.

Resuming their innings from an overnight score of 299-6, Rahkeem Cornwall (39) and Jeremiah Louis (3) pushed the Hurricanes to a final total of 352. Cornwall, adding 15 to his overnight score, secured the second half-century of the innings, while Hayden Walsh Jr contributed an unbeaten 20 off just six balls.

Ronaldo Ali Mohamed, who had claimed 2-49 overnight, continued his impressive performance, finishing with figures of 5-69 from 19.5 overs.

In response, the Guyanese side struggled against the spin of Daniel Doram and pave of Jeremiah Louis. Ali Mohamed (41) and Veerasammy Permaul (34) offered resistance, preventing a more-dire situation. Kevin Sinclair contributed 29, during some lower-order fight.

Doram led the bowling attack with figures of 4-40, supported by Louis with 3-42. Despite the individual efforts, the Harpy Eagles found themselves trailing by 164 runs.

At the close of play on Thursday, the Hurricanes were 52-1 in their second innings, extending their overall lead to 216 with nine wickets in hand. Mikyle Louis, who scored 113 in the first innings, continued his form with an unbeaten 37. Keacy Carty  is also at the crease on one. Kofi James contributed 14 before falling to Permaul.

West Indies Twenty20 captain Rovman Powell and all-rounder Jason Holder had to do very little, as their Dubai Capitals outfit made light work of Gulf Giants with a nine-wicket win in Qualifier 2 of the International League T20 (ILT20) tournament on Thursday, at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Leus du Plooy, with an unbeaten 40-ball 63, Tom Banton (38) and Tom Abell, unbeaten on 20, saw Dubai Capitals to victory at 139-1 with 25 balls to spare, after Gulf Giants, the team of West Indians Shimron Hetmyer and Carlos Brathwaite, were restricted to 138-6 from their allotment. Captain James Vince led the Giants from the front with a 53-ball 58, including four fours and two sixes, but lacked the necessary support, as Usman Khan (21) and Chris Jordan (30), were the next best scorers.

Holder, who was among five Capitals bowlers with a wicket apiece, ended with one for seven in two overs. By virtue of their win, Dubai Capitals booked a date with Nicholas Pooran's MI Emirates to decide the champions of this second edition of the tournament.

Scores: Gulf Giants 138-6 (20 overs); Dubai Capitals 139-1 (15.5 overs)

After suffering a 45-run defeat to MI Emirates in Qualifier 1, Gulf Giants would have hoped for better fortunes on this occasion, but those hopes were dashed as they lost Khan, Chris Lynn (zero), Jordan Cox (two) and Jamie Smith (zero), with just 40 runs on the board.

Hetmyer (eight), also had a brief stay in the middle, but despite the setback, Vince pushed on with some expansive shots that added some respectability to the innings before he eventually holed out to Powell off Olly Stone with the score at 117-6.

Jordan then smashed two sixes and a solitary four in his 29-ball knock, while Jamie Overton added 12 runs to the total in a six-ball cameo.

With just 139 to get, Plooy and Banton went on the charge in a 98-run opening stand, which all but signalled the writing on the wall for Gulf Giants. Banton had four boundaries in his run-a-ball 38, before he fell to Liam Dawson.

Abell joined Plooy, and the two posted an unbeaten 41-run stand for the second wicket to push the Capitals across the line. Plooy had five fours and three sixes in his knock, while Abell had two boundaries and a solitary six.

Powell and Holder will rub shoulders with fellow West Indians, Pooran, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Akeal Hosein, in the showpiece contest on Saturday.

Ben Stokes has had an air of indifference at playing in his 100th Test but the England captain was “pretty emotional” at receiving his cap in a behind-closed-doors presentation.

England players typically hold a team huddle on the outfield before play to commemorate landmark appearances but Stokes this week described joining the 100 Test club as “just a number”.

In keeping with Stokes’ philosophy about personal milestones, his cap presentation took place in England’s dressing room before the opening day of the third Test against India in Rajkot got under way.

England assistant Paul Collingwood was tight-lipped about what he said to Stokes before handing over the cap but thought his former Durham team-mate was touched by the sentiments expressed.

“It was a real honour to be asked to present the cap in the first place,” Collingwood said.

“I’ve known Ben since he’s been a young whipper-snapper at Durham. It was great just to say a few nice words.

“It was just to really applaud what he’s achieved in his career so far, it’s certainly not coming to an end – hopefully he’s got another 100 Test caps in him.

“From the team’s point of view, it was to thank him for what he’s done and just the way he pushes the boundaries all the time and fills every player and member of coaching staff with confidence.

“It’s a great moment for him, I’m sure he’ll not be overly bothered about 100 Test caps but you could see once I was speaking he was pretty emotional to receive that cap.”

With the series level at 1-1 and resuming after a 10-day break, England made a terrific start as the recalled Mark Wood found the edges of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to leave India on 33 for three.

Some early morning moisture aided England’s bowlers but as sun beat down on the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, the pitch flattened out and Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja capitalised.

Rohit made 131 after being given a reprieve on 27 when Joe Root shelled a tough chance, which would have left India on 47 for four, while Jadeja contributed a princely 110 not out on his return from a hamstring injury at his home ground as India finished an engrossing day on 326 for five.

Wood eventually got reward for his short-ball plan by snaring Rohit to finish with three for 69 while he ran out Sarfaraz Khan with a fantastic direct hit from mid-on.

“Woody has good skill with the new ball, he can nip that around and swing it,” Collingwood said.

“But on flat pitches, you need something, be it a leg-spinner who can turn it both ways, or extreme pace.

“They are usually things that break those partnerships and give you an edge. You want a point of difference on these types of pitches.

“I thought we pushed hard all day and we threw everything at them. We all realise that however many runs India get, we’re going to go out there pretty positively with the bat.

“If we have to chase runs on this pitch, it’s a very fast outfield and we’re good at chasing.”

While Root’s drop of Rohit was a sliding doors moment, England might also have snared both centurions had they reviewed lbw decisions given not out on the field, with Rohit on 87 and Jadeja on 93.

“It can be frustrating at times, but you have to crack on and try to create more chances,” Collingwood added.

Jadeja was shuffled up one place to number five to spare debutant Sarfaraz Khan a baptism of fire following India’s top-order wobble.

By the time Sarfaraz made his entrance, India were on a healthier 237 for four after a mammoth 204-run union between their two old stagers.

Sarfaraz poured salt into England’s wounds by taking down the tourists’ spinners and contributing 62 off 66 balls before being left high and dry by Jadeja, who turned down the single that would have brought up his 100.

Sarfaraz was well short of getting back in his crease and Jadeja reached his century from the next ball although his customary sword-swishing celebration was not as vigorous as usual.

“We had a little bit of miscommunication and that happens, it is no big deal,” Sarfaraz said, absolving his team-mate of any blame.

Mark Wood shone on his recall but hundreds from India captain Rohit Sharma and hometown hero Ravindra Jadeja blunted England’s charge on the opening day of the third Test.

Left out in Visakhapatnam, where the hosts levelled the series at 1-1, Wood rewarded England’s gamble to select two seamers for the first time this tour by finding the edges of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill as India stumbled to 33 for three.

But Joe Root’s drop to reprieve Rohit on 27 was a sliding doors moment as the opener added another 104 before falling to Wood, who finished with three for 69 and ran out the lively Sarfaraz Khan on debut.

Jadeja made a princely 110 not out on his return from a hamstring injury but England might have snared both centurions had they reviewed shortly before they reached three figures on a chastening day which finished with India on 326 for five.

Despite Ben Stokes calling incorrectly at the toss on his 100th Test, the early morning moisture aided England’s bowlers and they capitalised by leaving India three down inside the first nine overs.

As temperatures rose in Gujarat and the pitch gradually flattened out, Rohit, Jadeja then Sarfaraz, who contributed 62 off just 66 balls, helped India wrestle control as they added 151 in the last session.

England’s quicks shared new-ball duties and were punished for overpitching but Wood adjusted and gained some extra bounce and a hint of movement as he angled across Jaiswal, a double centurion in Vizag who made 10 as a tentative poke caught the edge and was gobbled up by Root at first slip.

Gill looked ill-at-ease and departed for a nine-ball duck in Wood’s next over after playing inside the line and nicking off, having been beaten through the gate by the previous delivery.

When Tom Hartley found grip and turn from an innocuous length in his first over, Rajat Patidar miscued to cover on five.

Jadeja was shuffled up one place to spare Sarfaraz a baptism of fire but the debutant might have walked in with India on 47 for four had a diving Root held on when Rohit edged an attempted flick off Hartley.

Root’s drop seemed inconsequential when Rohit was given lbw off James Anderson three balls later but an inside edge saw the decision overturned. Having been sconed on the grill by a spiteful Wood lifter and left needing treatment after inside edging on to his thigh, Rohit was struggling but hanging in there.

As the surface became more docile under the beating hot sun, he and Jadeja made hay either side of lunch, with Rohit surviving a tight lbw call on 49 to move to his first Test 50 in nine innings.

He cast off the shackles by depositing both Hartley and Root over long-on as England toiled without reward in a wicketless middle session.

A sinking feeling may have pervaded for the tourists after they failed to review a muted lbw appeal when Rohit missed a sweep on 87. While the ball might have brushed Rohit’s glove, it definitely thudded into his forearm and would have gone on to crash into leg stump.

Third umpire Rod Tucker was spared a tricky decision and Rohit brought up his century after tea before looking to turn the screw, perishing when a full-blooded heave took a top-edge and was caught by Stokes. The Durham pair celebrated wildly after ending a 204-run union but it was brief respite.

Jadeja was strong all around the wicket and especially off his hips, getting a short-arm pull off Wood to go the distance, before offering his first chance on 93. Hartley seemed to beat the inside edge with one that skidded on and the ball would have gone on to clatter middle stump.

Sarfaraz, who was drafted in for his international bow with a lofty first-class average of 69.85, poured salt into the wound as India moved through the gears. The 26-year-old was not overawed by the occasion, handling England’s spinners with ease and driving superbly.

He moved briskly to a 48-ball 50 but he was left high and dry when his partner was on 99. Setting off for a single which would have taken Jadeja to three figures, Sarfaraz was sent back and left well short of his crease following Wood’s direct hit.

There were muted celebrations when Jadeja reached his hundred just before stumps but his contribution helped India gain control.

Mark Wood took a couple of wickets on his recall but England were blunted by India’s steady hands of Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja on the opening day of the third Test in Rajkot.

Left out at Visakhapatnam, Wood returned as England picked two seamers for the first time in the series and he snared Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill after Ben Stokes had lost the toss on his 100th Test.

Tom Hartley dismissed Rajat Patidar as India lurched to 33 for three, with the suspicion some early-morning moisture was responsible for aiding bowling conditions on what was expected to be a flat pitch.

But as temperatures rose in Gujarat and the surface gradually flattened out, Rohit and Jadeja steadied the ship with an unbroken 152-run stand as India went to tea on 185 for three.

Rohit was dropped on 27 off Hartley – and overturned an lbw shout off James Anderson three balls later – but he absorbed the pressure and found a willing ally in Jadeja. India’s captain thumped 11 fours and two meaty straight sixes off Hartley to go to tea on 97 not out.

Jadeja, meanwhile, was unbeaten on 68 on his return from a hamstring injury to help lead the recovery when India found themselves in deep trouble as the series, level at 1-1, resumed after a 10-day break.

England’s quicks shared the new ball and were both punished for overpitching but Wood hit his stride to see off Jaiswal. A double centurion in Vizag, there is a suspicion Jaiswal is more susceptible to express pace and bounce and his tentative poke caught the outside edge and carried to Joe Root.

Wood was agonisingly close to Gill’s off-stump after beating the inside edge in his next over. Perhaps unsettled by that, India’s number three played inside the line to the next ball and nicked off.

India were three down inside nine overs as Hartley struck in his opening instalment. It was an innocuous delivery but the ball appeared to stick in the surface and turned sharply, with Patidar miscuing a looping catch to cover.

Rather than expose debutant Sarfaraz Khan, Jadeja moved up one place to partner another old-stager in Rohit, who was hit on the grill by a spiteful Wood lifter.

India’s captain was then reprieved after an intended flick caught the edge and whizzed to Root, who could not cling on to a tough chance at slip.

Rohit was then saved by an inside edge after being given out lbw off Anderson – three balls later – and after weathering some sustained pressure, Rohit and Jadeja restored some calm.

Rohit was characteristically fluent through the leg-side, tucking off his hips and legs, and survived an lbw shout off Hartley on 49 to reach his first Test 50 in nine innings. His lean patch has followed India’s World Cup final defeat but any building pressure has been eased by this knock.

Hartley toiled through 17 overs at one end – only interrupted by one from Rehan Ahmed just before lunch – as Anderson and Wood took it in turns at the other. Anderson was surgical and found a hint of reverse, while Wood bounded in but both were unrewarded for their endeavours.

Jadeja was at first content to be the junior partner in the union but he reached an important 50 on his home ground before tea.

There were muted appeals when Rohit, on 87, missed a sweep off Rehan, who was retained after a visa problem earlier in the week.

While it was inconclusive whether the ball had caught any of the glove, it definitely hit his forearm and would have gone on to thud into the stumps but England did not review.

Mark Wood vindicated his England recall with the wickets of in-form India batters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill on a lively opening morning of the third Test.

Left out at Visakhapatnam, Wood returned as England selected two seamers for the first time in this series in Rajkot and he took the edges of two batters who had passed three figures last time out.

Wood also sconed Rohit Sharma on the helmet with a spiteful lifter while what was expected to be the flattest pitch so far played against type as Tom Hartley found grip and turn to dismiss Rajat Patidar.

Joe Root spilled a tough chance when Rohit was on 27 while the India captain overturned an lbw verdict off James Anderson three balls later before going to lunch unbeaten on 52 in India’s 93 for three.

Ravindra Jadeja shuffled up the order on his return from injury and restored calm after India lurched from 22 for none to 33 for three after Ben Stokes had called incorrectly at the toss on his 100th Test.

There was initially little to trouble India’s openers as the series, level at 1-1, resumed after a 10-day break. But while Jaiswal made a sparkling double century in Vizag, there is a perception he struggles against express pace and he poked uncertainly to his second delivery off Wood and perished.

Wood was tantalisingly close to Gill’s off-stump in his following over after finding some inward movement. Perhaps spooked by that, India’s number three played inside the line and feathered the next ball through to Ben Foakes on his 31st birthday as Wood collected his second wicket in six balls.

Rajat Patidar was undone by the surface as Hartley’s innocuous delivery in his first over held up before turning sharply and led to a withdrawn cut shot that caught the bat and looped gently to cover.

Rather than expose debutant Sarfaraz Khan, Jadeja moved up one place to partner Rohit, who had looked unflustered at the other end but was hit flush on his grill by the excellent Wood.

He disrupted Hartley’s lengths with a counteroffensive but, seeking a third four in an over, a whip across the line took the edge and flew to Root, who was unable to react quickly enough to the chance.

The umpire’s finger went up when Anderson thudded into Rohit’s pad but the opener was saved by an inside edge on review. Rohit and Jadeja (24 not out) settled from that point on and there were few further alarms in the rest of the session.

Page 3 of 322
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.