On a flat fifth day track at The Oval, India bowled magnificently to register a 157-run win and go 2-1 up in the series with a game to go.
After suffering an innings defeat at Headingley, India made a terrific comeback into contest, recovering from 127/7 at one stage on the opening day to secure only their second Test victory at The Oval. The win took them to the top of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 table.
The stage was set for a tantalizing final day at The Oval after the England openers fought back in the final session of the penultimate day. The equation was simple – England needed another 291 runs to win, India needed 10 wickets.
Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed resumed on an overnight 77/0, and continued their partnership. Burns brought up his fifty, but fell to Shardul Thakur off the very next ball, nicking one to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps.
Hameed received a massive lifeline at 55 when Mohammed Siraj dropped a sitter at mid-on. It was a rare rush of blood from the opener, who attempted to take Jadeja on against the spin, but Siraj failed to gobble up a straightforward catch.
Dawid Malan was the next batter to be dismissed as Hameed tried to sneak a single after playing the ball to covers. However, substitute fielder Mayank Agarwal was quick to latch on to the ball and an inch-perfect throw to Pant resulted in Malan falling short of his crease.
Thereafter, captain Joe Root and Hameed took England to lunch at 131/2, adding just 54 runs to their overnight score while also losing two wickets.
India broke through right after the break with the wicket of Hameed. Jadeja reaped the reward for hitting the rough consistently and got one to spin past the outside edge of Hameed to rattle the stumps.
Bumrah got in on the act next, castling Ollie Pope to scalp his 100th wicket in Test cricket. He then sent Bairstow back to the pavilion for a duck with a trademark yorker. England continued to lose wickets as Moeen Ali gloved one to short leg off Jadeja for nought, the home side sliding to 147/6.
Root was once again left to resist with the tail. The skipper and Woakes put on a 35-run partnership, but the stubborn stand came to an end a few overs before tea. Kohli's decision to hold off on taking the second new ball and bring on Thakur turned out to be a masterstroke as Root played on to his stumps.
Thereafter, it was a matter of time. Umesh Yadav was brought back into the attack for the final over before tea and snared the wicket of Chris Woakes, KL Rahul completing a good low catch at short mid-wicket.
Armed with the new ball shortly after Tea, Umesh struck again, hitting Craig Overton on the elbow and onto the stumps, before he wrapped up the innings, inducing an edge off Jimmy Anderson with a short one.
The final Test will begin in Manchester on 10 September.
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