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India need 194 to win first Test after England collapse

Ishant Sharma claimed his eighth five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

India require 194 to win the first Specsavers Test after England were bowled out for a second-innings 180 at Edgbaston.

Sam Curran’s maiden Test fifty was the only bright spot of an England batting display which had seen them crumble to 87 for seven just after lunch.

Ishant Sharma’s eighth five-wicket Test haul put India on top but Curran, batting at eight, gave England hope with an intelligent 63.

The 20-year-old, who took four wickets in India’s first innings, made his half-century from 54 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

India paceman Ishant Sharma celebrates the dismissal of England batsman Ben Stokes (Nick Potts/PA)

Curran reached the landmark by swatting Ishant for six over extra cover.

Before Curran’s resistance, England had suffered a torrid day with spinner Ravi Ashwin removing Keaton Jennings (8) and captain Joe Root (14) in the opening hour.

Ishant (five for 51) ruined England’s attempt to rebuild when Dawid Malan edged to gully for 20 and then took three wickets in one over either side of lunch.

England lost Jonny Bairstow (28) and Ben Stokes (6) before the interval and Jos Buttler two balls after it as Ishant found extravagant swing.

The lead then was only 100 but Curran – who slashed low and hard past Shikhar Dhawan at first slip on 13 – dominated useful partnerships with Adil Rashid (16) and Stuart Broad (11) to put India on the backfoot for the first time in the day.

Curran’s efforts meant India would have to eclipse their highest successful run-chase in England to win – their best being the 174 they chased to win at The Oval in 1971.


From Belfast Telegraph