MOHALI: India registered a comprehensive eight-wicket win over England in the third Test in Mohali and went up 2-0 in the five-match series.
The hosts finished at 104-2 in 20.2 overs, chasing down the 103-run target with resolute ease. With two tests to play, India has outplayed England so far on tour.
Parthiv Patel struck his fifth test half-century and spearheaded the short run-chase after tea. He was unbeaten on 67 runs at the end, facing 54 deliveries in all, hitting 11 fours and a six.
He put on 81 runs for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (25). Their 50-partnership came off 62 balls. Patel reached his half-century off only 39 balls. Indian skipper Virat Kohli was full of praise for the 31-year-old who was called up as replacement for injured keeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Additionally, Patel was also asked to open the innings when Lokesh Rahul was ruled out at the last minute. “The intent he showed in both innings just deflated the opposition. Credit to him to go out there and counter attack, and take on their pacers. I think he really stood out in this game for me as a batsman. As a keeper as well he did well too,” said Kohli.
With the finish line in sight, Pujara was out caught sweeping off Adil Rashid (1-28). Patel and Kohli (6 not out) then completed the formalities without any fuss. This was after a brave half-century by injured Haseeb Hameed helped England finish their second innings at 236.
Alastair Cook confirmed that Hameed has a broken finger in his left hand, and is out of the remaining two tests. He will be flying home to England and a replacement will be named shortly.
In the morning session, Joe Root (78) scored a gritty half-century, facing 179 balls and scoring six boundaries. Starting from overnight 78-4, Root looked to bat for time. Jos Buttler (18) counter-attacked at the other end, and hit one four as well as a six in his 18-ball stay.
Buttler put on 29 runs for the sixth wicket with Root. He then holed out to long on off Jayant Yadav (2-21). Hameed and Root put on 45 runs for the seventh wicket. Just before lunch, India got the big wicket.
Ravindra Jadeja (2-62) ended Root’s resistance, caught at slip by Ajinkya Rahane, the fielder pulling off a superb one-handed catch to his left.
Hameed and Chris Woakes (30) then put on 43 runs for the eighth wicket. Woakes was dismissed caught behind after India took the second new ball.
Mohammed Shami (2-37) hit Woakes on the helmet in the 84th over, but the batsman was unhurt. He was dismissed off the next ball, fending another short ball.
Two balls later, Adil Rashid (0) was caught at fine leg, pulling another short delivery from Shami. Hameed then changed gears. He had scored only 17 runs off the first 117 balls he had faced.
Thereafter he scored 33 off 37 to reach his second test half-century. In all, Hameed scored 59 not out and hit six fours as well as a six in his 156-ball stay spanning just short of three hours.
Indian players had shaken his hand at the end of the England innings. Later, both captains paid tribute to the manner in which the youngster batted.
“He’s showed great character for a 19-year old at this level. He put his hand up when his team wanted him to do it,” said Kohli. Alastair Cook confirmed that Hameed has a broken finger in his left hand, and is out of the remaining two tests. He will be flying home to England and a replacement will be named shortly.
“He has got a broken hand and needs a plate within it to fix it. It’s obviously unlucky for a youngster who impressed us all with his technique and talent, and obviously now with his bravery and determination. When he’s playing for England, he’ll do anything to get out there. To play like that was a very special knock,” said Cook.
Hameed put on 41 runs for the tenth wicket with Anderson (5), who was run-out by Jadeja (2-62) with a throw from the deep. Ravichandran Ashwin (3-81) and Jayant Yadav (2-21) shared five wickets.
India are now unbeaten in five home Tests this season, and have stretched their unbeaten streak to Galle (Sri Lanka, 2015). Since then, under Kohli, India have not tasted defeat in 16 consecutive Tests.
“When you are put in trouble after losing the toss on a good wicket, the bowlers stand up. Then on day two, you are 156-5 and then your lower order steps up. So those two days, including the third day, were very pleasing for me as captain. Our confidence went up really high even in the second innings when we came out with the ball,” said Kohli.
Meanwhile, Cook lamented the missed chances for his side, in particular the low score after winning the toss and opting to bat on a fresh pitch.
“We were behind the game in the first innings. We were not good enough. No magic balls were being bowled really. What we did is we showed good character to drag ourselves back in but in this part of the world you need a big score, certainly on a wicket like that. There is no hiding behind it. We were not good enough to do that,” he said.
India won the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 246 runs. The first test in Rajkot was drawn. The third test begins in Mumbai on December 8. – AP