Gill century helps India set England 399-run target to win 2nd Test - GulfToday

Gill century helps India set England 399-run target to win 2nd Test


Shubman Gill celebrates his century on the third day of the second Test match against England in Visakhapatnam, India, on Sunday. AP

Shubman Gill scored his third hundred on day three to help India set a target of 399 runs for England to win the second Test.

Gill’s 104 runs anchored India’s second innings as it finished with 255 runs in 78.3 overs on Sunday. Axar Patel also scored 45 runs, while left-arm spinner Tom Hartley finished with figures of 4-77.

At stumps, England was 67-1 in 14 overs, needing another 332 runs for victory and a tantalizing day four in prospect. England have a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series, winning the first Test in Hyderabad by 28 runs. The home side reached 130-4 at lunch, with Gill’s knock holding the innings together.

Needing 40 more runs to get his first hundred batting at No.3, Gill accelerated and opened up to play shots against the spinners after lunch. He put on 89 runs for the fifth wicket with Patel, as India rebuilt its innings. Gill reached his hundred off 132 balls. In all, he faced 147 deliveries, hitting 11 fours and two sixes.

In the morning session, Gill had survived two close calls within seven deliveries. First, he seemed to have struck the ball just as it hit his pad and escaped an lbw call off Tom Hartley. Then, the umpire’s call went in his favour after James Anderson reviewed for another lbw appeal.

Gill then went on to score his second test hundred on home soil, adding to his ton in Chattogram, Bangladesh in 2022).

At the other end, Hartley trapped Patel lbw to provide the breakthrough as the India lower order was exposed. Gill fell against the run of play, caught behind off Shoaib Bashir who finished with 1-58.

England made quick work of the lower Indian line-up with the combination of Hartley and wrist spinner Rehan Ahmed mopping up.

Srikar Bharat was out caught for six off Ahmed, who also accounted for Ravichandran Ashwin later on. Hartley dismissed Kuldeep Yadav for a five-ball duck, and then followed up with Jasprit Bumrah before he managed to get on the scoring sheet. Ashwin was the last man out — he scored 29 runs, pushing India past 250 but the overall lead fell just short of 400.

Chasing a tall target, England came out attacking the new ball. Mukesh Kumar went for 19 runs in the two overs he bowled, with Ben Duckett scoring 28 off 27 balls.

Duckett hit six fours, before he was out caught off Ashwin. The ball looped up after taking an inside edge and keeper Srikar Bharat completed a superb catch, diving forward.

Rehan Ahmed came out as the night watchman, and finished at nine not out, while Zack Crawley was unbeaten on 29 runs.

Earlier in the day, Anderson picked up two quick wickets to dismiss Rohit Sharma (13) and first innings’ double centurion Yashasvi Jaiswal (17).

India was down to 30-2 before Gill and Shreyas Iyer (29) put on 81 runs for the third wicket to turn the game in their favor.

The 24-year-old Gill reached 50 off 77 balls - his first 50-plus score since shifting down the order in the Caribbean last July.

Gill’s last 50-plus score was 128 against Australia in Ahmedabad. Since then, in 12 innings, his highest was 36 against South Africa in December, before crossing 50 in the second innings here.

Ben Stokes pulled off a sensational catch to bring an abrupt end to their partnership. Iyer went for six against Hartley in the 31st over, but the English skipper ran back to claim a diving catch at long off.

India had taken a 143-run lead in the first innings after bowling out England for 253 runs on day two. Jasprit Bumrah picked up 6-45 for his best bowling return in India. The hosts had scored 396 runs after opting to bat, thanks to Jaiswal’s 209.

Associated Press

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