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India in complete control after Pandya's fifer

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
83   //    20 Aug 2018, 15:32 IST

19th August 2018 will go down in the history books, as the Indian team came up with one of their best Test sessions, which could prove to be a match-winning one, i.e if India does not slip again.

Hardik Pandya's 5 wicket haul in a single spell proved to be of utmost importance as India wrapped England up for a meagre score of 168, grabbing all the wickets in the second session on Day 2 of a do-or-die Test match for India.

England v India: Specsavers 3rd Test - Day Two

2nd day, 1st session, England going in with a pressure to get India out cheaply bowled well. Saying that they did it comfortably will be an understatement, such was the ease with which they collapsed India to 329. All said and done, India still managed to get a decent total on the board, Virat Kohli and his bowlers had runs, for the first time, to defend.

Everyone anticipated the opening burst from Shami and Ishant, but Kohli had other plans as he handed the 2nd over to Bumrah and the new ball evaded Ishant Sharma, yet again. With the clouds hovering around and the Duke shining, Indian seamers could not have asked better conditions. But, as was the case in Lord's, Indian seamers failed to leave any impact in the first crack at the English batsmen, leaving them 46 - 0 at Lunch. 

The first session went the English way, with wayward bowling from Indians. But what followed in the second session could not have been foreseen by anyone, not even the most optimistic of Indian fans.

From 46 for none to 161 all out, it was one of England's infamous batting collapse which must have made the memories of Mirpur 2016 and Auckland 2018 come haunting back. This collapse, can perhaps, be tagged as the worst of the lot, as it was at the home turf.

To recall the session, with Cook nicking an outswinging delivery from Ishant Sharma, England's demise started. Jennings only worsened the situation by departing on the next ball, which could have easily been left through to the keeper. 

Not many balls were bowled, before young Pope fell to the delivery going down the leg side, exposing the middle order early. But with Ishant and Bumrah finishing their extended spells, Kohli had to go for Hardik Pandya, only because Ashwin was out injured. This came as a blessing, as Pandya got the wicket of Joe Root on the first ball to lit the fire for England's collapse.

And in his 6 overs, Pandya did the unthinkable, grabbing five wickets in a single spell, something which not even the great bowlers have not been able to accomplish. He ended with 5-28 and bowled England out of the Test match with a dream spell. 

India grabbed a lead of 168, which has now been extended to 292. With three days still remaining in the match, England will have to bat out of their skins to salvage something out of the Test.

The series, now, is well and truly alive, thanks to the brilliant bowling spell from Pandya and some dismal batting from England.

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