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5th Test: Padikkal, Sarfaraz take India to 376/3 at Tea after Rohit, Gill depart

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5th Test: Padikkal, Sarfaraz take India to 376/3 at Tea after Rohit, Gill depart

Dharamshala, March 8 (Ajit Weekly News) Debutant Devdutt Padikkal and Sarfaraz Khan steered India into a dominating position as the host reached 376/3 at Tea on day 2 of the fifth and final Test against England, here at the HPCA Stadium on Friday.

Padikkal (44* off 77) and Sarfaraz (56* off 59), who have just four caps between them, took the fourth wicket stand to 97 off 131, stretching India’s lead to 158 runs following the dismissals of skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, both of whom notched up centuries.

Rohit and Gill both cruised to hundreds during the morning session as India tightened their grip on the final Test. England finally made a breakthrough after a challenging morning, and it was the captain Ben Stokes, who made the difference by introducing himself into the attack. Stokes had refrained from bowling since the Lord’s Test in June due to persistent knee problems that necessitated surgery before Christmas.

A fine knock from Rohit came to an end for the score of 103, the Indian skipper was beaten by an absolute peach that hits off stump.

Then, new debutant Padikkal came to join another centurion of the day Gill. James Anderson soon got another big fish Gill on 110, for his 699 Test scalps as England got rid of both the set batters shortly after lunch. Notably, for the first time in this match, pacers have started to pick wickets.

Sarfaraz walked out at No. 5 for India, joining Padikkal. The pair steadied things for India and grabbed the momentum back after England’s double-strike post-lunch.

Padikkal wasted no time showcasing his skills, consistently finding the boundary with seven well-timed fours. In contrast, Sarfaraz initially approached cautiously but quickly shifted gears, unleashing a barrage of aggressive shots to reach his third Test fifty.

Earlier, resuming to the overnight score of 135/1, Rohit (102 off 160) and Gill (101* off 142) dominated the opening session of the day and put up 160-run stand at lunch, India’s second consecutive hundred partnership in the series.

The duo was in no mood to let England into the game and both batters got their hundreds three balls apart. Rohit was the first to reach the three-figure mark. He notched his second hundred of the series and 12th overall with a clip-through midwicket off Tom Hartley.

In the next over, he handed the strike back to Gill, who slog-sweep Shoaib Bashir to bring up his second century of the series and fourth in Tests.

Brief Scores: India 376/3 at Tea (Devdutt Padikkal 44*, Sarfaraz Khan 56 Rohit Sharma 102, Shubman Gill 101) lead England 218 in 57.4 overs (Zak Crawley 79; Kuldeep Yadav 5-72, Ravichandran Ashwin 4-51) by 158 runs

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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