Bumrah strikes as ruthless India close in on victory

Filed on September 6, 2021
England's Jonny Bairstow is bowled by India's Jasprit Bumrah on Monday. (AP)

The hosts struggled in the second session when they lost six wickets to stumble to 193-8 at tea

Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja combined to wreck England’s batting order and put India firmly on course for victory in the thrilling fourth Test at The Oval on Monday.

Chasing a record victory target of 368, England were 100 for no loss early on the final day but the wheels came off for the hosts in the second session when they lost six wickets to stumble to 193-8 at tea.

Chris Woakes fell for 18 on the stroke of the interval, leaving Craig Overton on five and England still 175 runs behind.

Earlier, England began an intriguing final day on 77 for no loss, needing 291 runs to accomplish a record chase and go 2-1 up in the five-Test series.

They made a strong start too with openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed sharing a century stand before Shardul Thakur drew first blood.

Burns took two runs off Thakur to bring up his 50 but the seamer angled the next ball in and the opener could only edge it behind.

Hameed got a reprieve on 56 when Mohammed Siraj dropped an easy catch at mid-on off Jadeja.

India could not be denied a second wicket, though, and Dawid Malan was run out for five after responding to Hameed’s call for a tight single.

England’s in-form captain Joe Root signalled his positive intent when he reverse-swept Jadeja’s first delivery after the lunch break for a boundary.

Circumstances, however, soon demanded caution as wickets started tumbling at the other end.

Hameed made 63 but looked ill at ease against Jadeja who kept bowling into the rough to trouble the batsmen.

The left-arm spinner dismissed the opener, spinning one past Hameed’s bat and hitting the off-stump.

Bumrah then dealt a double blow to tilt the game firmly in India’s favour.

The seamer breached Ollie Pope’s defence to claim his 100th Test wicket in his 24th match and, in his next over, bowled Jonny Bairstow for a duck with a searing, inswinging yorker.

Moeen Ali also fell for nought to a Jadeja delivery that spun from the footmarks as England slumped to 147-6.

Root held one end up for some time but dragged an innocuous Thakur delivery onto his stumps to depart for 36 and end England’s faint hopes of an unlikely win.

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