In a breathtaking display of cricket, England defeated India by 28 runs in the first Test of the series in Hyderabad, taking a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The match, played on Sunday, saw India setting a target of 231 but being bowled out for 202 in a gripping 69.2 overs on the fourth day, despite a solid start at 95 for three at tea. The highlight of the match was debutant spinner Tom Hartley’s sensational performance, claiming 7/62, one of the best figures by an overseas bowler in his debut match in India.
Morning Session: India’s Resilient Bowling, Pope’s Epic 196
India commenced the day by bowling out England for 420 in their second innings, riding on Ollie Pope’s epic 196. Despite trailing by 190 runs, England’s aggressive approach paid off, marking the second biggest deficit overturned to win a Test in India. This was India’s fourth defeat in 47 home Tests in 12 years, underscoring England’s remarkable achievement.
England’s Final Session Rally and India’s Counter
As England edged closer to victory in the final session, R Ashwin and KS Bharat of India mounted a formidable resistance. However, Hartley’s crucial wickets in the dying moments of the game turned the tide in England’s favor, including the critical dismissal of Bharat and the stumping of Ashwin.
Tea Break Turmoil and India’s Collapse
Post-tea, India struggled as they lost key batters early. Axar Patel and KL Rahul fell to Hartley and Joe Root, respectively. A turning point was Ben Stokes’s brilliant fielding effort to run out Ravindra Jadeja. India’s middle and lower order could not withstand the pressure exerted by England, led by captain Stokes’s tactical acumen.
England’s Path to Victory and India’s Struggle
From 119 for 7, Ashwin and Bharat delayed the inevitable but couldn’t prevent the eventual defeat. Hartley and Pope made significant inroads early, disrupting India’s batting lineup, including the dismissal of Rohit Sharma. The 20,000-odd crowd witnessed a game for the ages, with England ultimately emerging victorious.
England’s victory in Hyderabad is a testament to their resilient and strategic cricket play, especially in foreign conditions. The remarkable performance by Tom Hartley and the team’s collective effort have not only shaken the cricket world but also set the stage for an electrifying series ahead. This match will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most sensational and unpredictable games in recent cricket history.