Spin spearhead Jack Leach and Moeen Ali picked two wickets as England stole the show before skipper Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin extended India’s lead by 351 runs on day three of the second Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Monday.
At the lunch break, India’s score reads 156/6 with Kohli and Ashwin unbeaten on 38 and 34 runs respectively. The duo managed to stitch a fifty-run partnership before lunch. The first session saw five wickets falling and 102 runs being scored from 30 overs.
It was a dream start for England as India lost five wickets in the first session on the back of some fine glove work by birthday boy Ben Foakes. The wicket-keeper stumped Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant and completed an unfortunate run out of Cheteshwar Pujara
Resuming day three from 54/1, India got off to the worst possible start as the hosts lost both Rohit and Cheteshwar in the first 15 minutes.
While Pujara lost the grip on his bat and failed to ground it on time, Rohit got stumped off Leach’s ball courtesy of some quick glove work by Foakes.
Pant was sent up the order after the fall of two wickets but he too failed to leave a mark. Foakes stumped Pant as Leach scalped his second for the day.
Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Virat Kohli then started to rebuild India’s innings with a couple of boundaries. But Moeen Ali struck his first for the day as he dismissed Rahane to leave hosts reeling at 86/5 in the 31st over.
Just when a partnership was flourishing between Axar Patel and Kohli, Moeen got his second scalp of the day as the all-rounder departed after hosts extended their lead to 301 runs. Kohli and Ashwin then ensured England doesn’t make any further inroads before the concluding minutes of the first session on day three.
Earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin’s five-wicket haul was the highlight of the second day of the second Test as it helped India end England’s first innings on 134 runs before the hosts began to extend their lead over the visitors on Sunday.
India witnessed a good start to their second innings, with Rohit and Shubman Gill scoring regular boundaries. Leach provided England with the first breakthrough as he got hold of Gill (14) in the 12th over.
Brief scores: India 329 and 156/6 (Virat Kohli 38*, Ravichandran Ashwin 34*; Jack Leach 3/63), England 134 (Ben Foakes 42*, Ollie Pope 22, Ashwin 5/43)