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AFP
February 25, 2021

England collapse to 112 all out in India pink-ball Test

Sports

AFP
February 25, 2021

AHMEDABAD: Spinner Axar Patel claimed six wickets as India skittled out England for 112 on day one of a crucial day-night third Test in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Patel, who recorded his second haul of five or more wickets in just his second Test, combined with Ravichandran Ashwin to end England’s innings in 48.4 overs in the world’s biggest cricket stadium.

India’s innings witnessed a power cut with most of the new LED lights at the revamped stadium going off for two minutes after which play resumed.

India reached five for no loss at dinner with Rohit Sharma, on five, and Shubman Gill at the crease.

Gill survived a scare when he was caught at second slip off fast bowler Stuart Broad but replays suggested that Ben Stokes had grassed the ball while taking the catch.

Earlier Zak Crawley top-scored with 53 after England elected to bat first. Captain Joe Root (17) Ben Foakes (12) and Jofra Archer (11) also got into double figures.

The England batting fell apart after fast bowler Ishant Sharma, playing his 100th Test, struck first with the wicket of Dom Sibley for nought in the third over of the day.

Crawley put on 47 runs with Root for the third wicket to put up some resistence but Ashwin claimed the England captain with his off spin.

Root reviewed the call but replays showed the ball would have hit the top of leg stump and he left the field to the loud cheers of the home crowd.

England took tea at 81 for four and wickets kept falling in the second session.

Foakes stood guard for 58 balls before Patel bowled the wicketkeeper-batsman to wrap up the innings. Ashwin took three wickets.

England, looking to bounce back from a 317-run defeat, have brought back their pace duo of James Anderson and Archer in the team.

The four-match series is level at 1-1.

Meanwhile, the world’s biggest cricket stadium was renamed after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a surprise move on Wednesday hours before its inaugural international match between India and England.

The 110,000-seater stadium was the pet project of Modi who was chief minister in Gujarat state, where Ahmedabad is the main city, before taking over as head of government in 2014.

The new name was announced by President Ramnath Kovind during a ceremony ahead of the third Test between India and England.

“This stadium was the dream of the prime minister and he had during his stint as chief minister here floated the idea of building the world’s largest stadium,” Home Minister Amit Shah said at the event.

The $100-million, perfectly round venue, with seats in the blue and saffron of the Indian team, promises unobstructed views from every angle.

It eclipses the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, which dates back to 1853.

The former Motera stadium was inaugurated as the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cricket Stadium by Modi in February 2020 when he hosted a mega-rally there with then US president Donald Trump.

Patel, an independence leader, is immortalised by the world’s biggest statue, the enormous Statue of Unity completed in 2018 measuring 182 metres (597 feet) — twice the size of the Statue of Liberty—which has struggled to attract visitors.

President Kovind said the stadium will be just one part of a huge Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave that will house amenities for 33 Olympic sports.

Although cricket enjoys massive popularity in the country of 1.3 billion, India already has more than a dozen stadiums capable of holding international matches.