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India v England: Hosts win second Test by 317 runs in Chennai

Second Test, Chennai (day four)

India 329 (Rohit 161, Moeen 4-128) & 286 (Ashwin 106, Moeen 4-98)

England 134 (Ashwin 5-43) & 164 (Axar 5-60)

India won by 317 runs

England succumbed to an inevitable 317-run defeat by India on the fourth day of the second Test in Chennai.

Faced with the hopeless task of chasing 482 on a deteriorating pitch, England were bowled out for 164 to leave the four-Test series poised at 1-1.

Only Joe Root provided prolonged resistance, but even the captain needed plenty of fortune in his 33, before Moeen Ali chanced his arm for 43 off only 18 balls.

Debutant left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed 5-60, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 3-53 – and match figures of 8-96 – to go with a century in India’s second innings.

After two matches in Chennai, the series moves to Ahmedabad, with the day-night third Test beginning on 23 February.

India fightback leaves series poised

Halfway through, this series between two Test heavyweights is living up to its billing.

After England produced one of their finest away performances to win the first Test by 227 runs,India have dominated the second, exploiting their expertise in dusty, spinning conditions.

While the tourists cashed in on winning the toss in the first Test, India did the same in the second. Even if this match will be remembered for the pitch, that should not detract from the fact that the home side have been vastly superior.

Between them, Rohit Sharma and Ashwin made more runs than the entire England team. Ashwin and Axar applied more pressure than England spinners Jack Leach and Moeen, while Rishabh Pant pulled off as many moments of wicketkeeping brilliance as Ben Foakes.

The floodlit third Test, played with the pink ball, will add a different dynamic, with pace bowling perhaps playing a bigger part.

On the line in the final two matches will not only be the series, but also a place in the World Test Championship final. England, India or Australia can make it through to meet New Zealand in June.

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