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Rohit slams fifty before English spinners halt India’s progress

Rohit slams fifty before English spinners halt India’s progress

Ranchi, Feb 26 (PTI) Skipper Rohit Sharma led India’s tricky chase with a fine half-century before England spinners slowed their progress to leave them at 118/3 at lunch on day four of the fourth Test here on Monday.

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At the break, Shubman Gill was batting on 18 from 62 balls, while Ravindra Jadeja was on three from 29 balls as the Indian duo showed resolve after the home team lost three wickets for 16 runs.

Rohit (55 off 81) looked in his usual attacking mode and hit a swat-flick off James Anderson en route to his 17th Test fifty.

England bowlers failed to get under the skin of Rohit and Yashasvi Jaiswal (37 off 44) after they resumed the day at 40 for no loss chasing 192.

The duo shared an 84-run stand before part-time off-spinner Joe Root (1/21) broke the partnership, dismissing Jaiswal.

Thereafter, left-arm spinner Tom Hatley (1/40) took the prized scalp of Rohit, before Shoaib Bashir (1/40) secured his sixth wicket of the match dismissing an out of sorts Rajat Patidar (0).

On a sunny morning, Rohit and Jaiswal started positively. After seeing through Anderson’s opening over, Rohit brought out his swat flick to dispatch the 41-year-old for a maximum over wide long-on.

Bashir operated from the other end as runs came thick and fast for India, be it in singles or in boundaries.

The sense of desperation was palpable as Anderson was seen sprinting down to the fine leg boundary and even threw his body but could not stop a boundary off Jaiswal’s bat.

The duo swept, reverse swept to tackle the low bounce from the spinners with Rohit playing the lead role in the partnership, and got past 9,000 runs in first class cricket.

Nothing going their way, Ben Stokes brought in Joe Root to unsettle the rhythm and the part-timer did just that by exploiting the rough against the Indian left-hander.

Jaiswal failed to control his inside-out shot and Anderson pulled off an absolute stunner with a forward diving catch at backward point.

Stokes was quick to take Root out of the attack and operated with his two spin twins in Bashir and Hartley, who did a decent job in stopping the run flow.

Gill looked under pressure to rotate the strike, putting a well-set Rohit under pressure at the other end as boundaries dried up, pushing India on the backfoot.

Hartley finally got his due for his miserly spell with the prized-scalp of the Indian captain. Rohit came down the track only to be beaten by the flight and spin from Hartley and Ben Foakes did the needful behind the stumps. Though Rohit was way out of the crease, he was adjudged caught behind after getting a faint tickle on the way to the wicketkeeper.


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