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England crush India for series lead

England have beaten India by 227 runs in the first Test in Chennai to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Chasing a record 420 for victory, the hosts were bowled out for 192 in the second session, with captain Virat Kohli topscoring with a fighting 72. James Anderson was the architect of a famous fifth-day with an astonishing spell of reverse swing.

Four days of hard-earned dominance had left the tourists on the cusp of an upset against opponents who had lost just one of their last 35 matches on home turf dating back to 2012, and Anderson’s magnificent work in the morning made it a reality.

The 38-year-old defied expectations that spin would be the only way to finish things off, dismissing Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane in an over which will go down as one of the most compelling in recent history.

England controlled the Test right from day one after Joe Root led them to a mammoth total. PHOTO: ICC

Both batsman saw their off stump go cartwheeling as Anderson got the ball hooping in outrageously, and there could easily have been an lbw decision against Rahane in between. By the time he had the dangerous Rishabh Pant cheaply caught at short cover, Anderson had swung the game – quite literally – with a five-over burst of three wickets for six runs.

Jack Leach was also a key performer, bouncing back from some damage in the first innings to claim 4-74, while Ben Stokes had the satisfaction of clean bowling India captain Kohli.

Joe Root’s side have now completed six consecutive overseas wins, including visits to South Africa and Sri Lanka, their best streak away from home since 1914.

AP/RSS

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