Fourth Test: India in command on fourth day


Mumbai, Dec 11 (IANS) Centuries by Virat Kohli and Jayant Yadav backed up by some excellent bowling put India in a strong position at stumps on the fourth day of the fourth cricket Test against England here on Sunday.

India skipper Kohli amassed 235 runs, his third double century of the year.

With in-form rookie Jayant Yadav scoring 104 at the other end, the duo put together a partnership of 241 runs to help the hosts amass a formidable first innings score of 631 runs.

England were on the brink of defeat, reduced to 182/6 in their second innings and still trailing by 49 runs by the end of the day’s play at the Wankhede Stadium.

England skipper Alastair Cook (18), debutant and first innings centurion Keaton Jennings (0), Moeen Ali (0), Joe Root (77), Ben Stokes (18) and Jake Ball (2) were dismissed — five by Indian spinners. Jonny Bairstow was unbeaten on 50.

The day’s action stopped when Ball was out in the 48th over of England’s second innings.

England had posted a fighting 400 in their first innings.

India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/11) dismissed Jennings in the very first over of England’s second innings to start their slide.

Their grief deepened when left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/58) accounted for both Cook and Moeen Ali to leave India in a very strong position.

Jayant Yadav (1/39) took the prized scalp of Root while star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2/49) inflicted further damage to push England into the corner.

Earlier in the day, Kohli and Yadav displayed some excellent strokeplay to put the England bowlers under pressure.

Kohli had scored 200 against the West Indies and 211 against New Zealand earlier this year. He became the fifth man ever to post three double centuries in a year, joining Austraian legends Donald Bradman (1930), Ricky Ponting (2003), Michael Clarke (2012) and New Zealand great Brendon McCullum (2014).

He also topped 2,500 runs across all formats in a year — in 2016 — only the 11th player to do so, and the first man to score a double century in three consecutive series.

Kohli continued his supreme form from where had he left on Saturday, leading India’s charge to swell the lead. He and Yadav resumed action at 451/7, a lead of 51 runs, and continued to dominate.

At stumps on the third day, Kohli was unbeaten on 147 and Yadav not out on 30, an unbroken 87-run stand.

India scored 128 runs in 29 overs in the first session of play without losing a wicket.

The Kohli-Yadav pair batted authoritatively on Sunday morning, Kohli hitting 25 boundaries and a six in a 340-ball knock. Yadav had 15 boundaries to his credit during his 204-ball innings.

Their eighth-wicket partnership blossomed to 241 runs, giving India a handsome lead and forcing England to crumble under the weight of a huge deficit.



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