India score biggest win over England, level Test series

Chennai: Debutant left-arm spinner Axar Patel’s five-wicket haul in the second innings, coupled with Ravichandran Ashwin’s all-round performance, helped India score an authoritative 317-run win – their biggest-ever by runs against England — in the second Test here. The win leveled the four-match series 1-1.

India’s previous biggest win margin by run was by 279 in 1986, when Kapil Dev’s team defeated England at Headingly, Leeds.

The win takes India to the second spot on the World Test Championship points table. India need one more win in this series to seal a spot in the final that will be played in June at Lord’s, London, in England. New Zealand have already qualified for the final.

This defeat halted England’s win streak overseas. They had won six consecutive Tests, including two in Sri Lanka, from where they came to India straightaway, and won the first Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Chasing a target of 482 runs for victory, England were all out for 164 in 54.2 overs in the second session of the fourth day of the five-day match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. Moeen Ali was the top scorer with an 18-ball 43, though it came when everything was lost for England. Captain Joe Root’s dogged 92-ball 33 was the next best score.

Earlier, India, after captain Virat Kohli won the toss, had scored 329 in their first innings, thanks to Rohit Sharma’s century. Ashwin then captured five wickets to bundle out England for a mere 134, to help India take a huge 195-run lead. In the second innings, Ashwin shone with the bat, too, as he hammered his fifth century in India’s second-innings’ 286, which set a gigantic task for Root’s team.

England had won the first Test at the same venue on February 9. The third day-night Test begins in Ahmedabad on February 24. The fourth Test will also be played there.

Ashwin was the hero of India’s win as he scored a century and captured eight wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

England had earlier won the first Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium by 227 runs.

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