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Ravichandran Ashwin picks up eight wickets on Worcestershire debut 

The 30-year-old claimed eight Gloucestershire wickets as his side romped to a 189-run win.

What’s the story?

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Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, playing in England on his first county stint, had a fruitful outing for the Worcestershire side on his debut at the Championship Division Two league in Worcester. Apart from contributing with bat, Ashwin claimed a total of eight wickets as his side steamrolled Gloucestershire by 189 runs.

In case you didn’t know…

Having been rested for the ongoing Sri Lanka ODI series, Ashwin decided to represent Worcestershire to enjoy his maiden county stint, in a bid to improve his record overseas, especially in England, where he has played only two games.

Apart from Ashwin, two more Indian players, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, are set to feature for the County championship in England, although the team Jadeja is set to represent is still not clear.

The heart of the matter

After contributing to the team’s first innings total by scoring a breezy 36, he took his first wicket by dismissing keeper-batsman Gareth Roderick, and came back to pick two more victims.

Batting in the second innings, he contributed with a useful 28, as the Worcs set a target of 401. Ashwin then returned with figures of 5-68, picking up the wickets of opener Chris Dent and Will Tavare, before returning to see the back of George Hankins, Jack Taylor and Kieran Noema-Barnett.

After a disappointing campaign in the NatWest T20 blast, the win will help boost their Championship chances, as they now stand second with six wins from eleven games, having 156 points in their kitty.

As he left the field, he received a standing ovation from the crowd who lauded the 30-year-old's debut effort.

What’s next?

This was Worcestershire’s sixth championship win this season, taking them 19 points ahead of Sussex. Second in the table now, they will lock horns with toppers Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Author’s Take

It is heartening to watch Ashwin bowl in full flow, as he employed his full repertoire of deliveries on the opposition, flighting and drifting the ball with aplomb and utilised the used pitch to great effect.

An extremely successful bowler on subcontinental pitches, Ashwin has received a lot of flak for being relatively ineffective away from home. This is a great start to his County campaign, and if he continues in the same vein, he can prosper in conditions away from home as well.

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