England have Sam Curran to thank as they go 1-0 up against India
Although Ben Stokes scalped four Indian wickets, England have their other all-rounder Sam Curran (MoM) to thank for his counter attacking 63-run knock in the third innings which brought the hosts back in the match.
England 287 and 180; win by 31 runs
India 274 and 162
As Dinesh Karthik (20) was dismissed on the last ball of Anderson's over, the writing was already on the wall for India. However, as long as Virat Kohli was there at the crease, anything was possible.
Hardik Pandya had an abysmal track record in the 2nd innings and averaged less than five when he walked out to bat. Pandya played completely opposite to his natural instinct this time around as he hung around with Kohli for a 29-run partnership.
All this while, it was Pandya who faced the bulk of balls. Apart from playing and missing a few, he looked assertive and showed good judgement around the off stump. Contrary to expectation, it was Virat Kohli (51) who was the next wicket to fall. Kohli came a little too across on an insinging delivery from Ben Stokes (14.2-40-4) and was plumb in front of the wickets.
He took a review but it was more out of hope than conviction. As it turned out, the ball had impacted on middle and was going on to crash into the leg stump. Koli departed and along with him departed the hopes of India's history win.
When Ishant Sharma (11) came up with a couple of streaky boundaries, the fan hope against hope. But England's lead ultimately prove to be too much as Hardik Pandya (31) nicked one off Ben Stokes to Alastair Cook at first slip.
Stokes dismissed four batsmen in the second Indian innings and proved to be the tormentor. However, had it not been for Sam Curran's counter-attacking 63-run knock in the 3rd innings, England would have not had a substantial lead. For all the joy that the team was able to give to the English supporters, England have the 20-year-old gritty Sam Curran to thank.
©Cricket World 2018