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India thrash England to square four-match series

England succumbed to the inevitable crushing defeat on day four of the second Test against India, out-spun and outdone on their way to a 317-run loss in Chennai.

The damage had already been done over the course of three chastening days, with England resuming on 53-3 chasing two equally unrealistic options if they were to get out of jail and preserve their 1-0 series lead.

To win they would have needed to turn their overnight score into a world-record chase of 482 or to draw they would required to bat for six full sessions on a spinning, spitting minefield.

In the end, and to no great surprise, they came nowhere close to either outcome and were bowled out for 164.

Debutant Axar Patel finished with five wickets and there was another couple for player-of-the-match Ravichandran Ashwin, who ended the Test with eight to go with his brilliant second-innings century from No 8.

Axar Patel took a fifer in his debut Test. PHOTO: BCCI

“It is special to take a five-wicket haul on Test debut,” Patel said. “There was so much happening on the pitch. It was turning from day one itself, so we bowled tight lines and forced the batsmen to make mistakes.”

The margin was England’s heaviest defeat by runs in India, a beating that will need to be parked if the tourists are to hit back in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad.

There was precious little optimism to take from this final day, but captain Joe Root clung on for over a session for 33 and Moeen Ali (43) added some late spark by hammering five sixes in a bruising cameo before his dismissal ended the match.

Root praised India’s performance and admitted his side were well beaten. “I think the credit has to go to India, they played very well. They’ve outplayed us in all three departments this week and for us this is a bit of an education. We’ve got to learn from this,” Root told Channel Four.

AP/RSS

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