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The story of a thrilling final day of the first Test between England and India

The hosts edged a thrilling match at Edgbaston by 31 runs.

England celebrate their victory (Anthony Devlin/PA)
England celebrate their victory (Anthony Devlin/PA)

England finally broke Virat Kohli’s resistance to go 1-0 up on India with a 31-run victory after a titanic struggle in their 1,000th Test match.

Ben Stokes delivered the telling blows on the fourth morning of the Specsavers series opener at Edgbaston, where Kohli appeared to be leading his team home after adding a second-innings half-century to his 149 at his first attempt.

But in his first over after replacing James Anderson at the City End, Stokes had the India captain lbw playing across his pad for 51, and then doubled up with the wicket of Mohammed Shami – fencing a catch behind.

Adil Rashid also chipped in with a wicket before Stokes had Hardik Pandya caught at first slip to dismiss India for 162.

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Joe the gambler

England celebrate a crucial wicket (Anthony Devlin/PA)

It was not an obvious gambit to bring Rashid on, after his solitary previous over in the innings, with 42 runs needed from the last two wickets. But Joe Root backed his instincts, and his fellow Yorkshireman, and it paid off.

Stat of the day

Kohli ended up with exactly 200 of India’s 436 runs in the match – not quite enough, though!

36 years young

James Anderson continues to roll back the years (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Anderson had another birthday just before this landmark Test. He is making no concession to age, bowling as well as ever, and closing on Glenn McGrath’s 563 wickets – benchmark as the most successful pace bowler of all time. Anderson needs a little more time between assignments, to mitigate the wear and tear, and has had plenty of work at the start of this hectic five-match series. But it is hard to see him stopping any time soon.

What next?

Lord’s on Thursday. The Home of Cricket will do well to serve up a match as good as the series opener, but there surely will not be too many dull moments anywhere between these two well-matched teams this summer.



From Belfast Telegraph