2nd Test: Gill slams century, Axar makes 45 as India's lead swells to 370

February 4, 2024
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Shubman Gill got a few slices of luck early on, and made it count by slamming his third Test century while Axar Patel

Visakhapatnam, Feb 4 (IANS) Shubman Gill got a few slices of luck early on, and made it count by slamming his third Test century while Axar Patel made a decent 45 as India’s lead swelled to 370 at tea on day three of the second Test against England at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Gill and Axar stitched an 89-run partnership for the fifth wicket, with the former getting his first Test century as a number three batter, eventually making 104 off 147 balls. It was a timely knock from Gill, who was coming under a bit of pressure for his place in the eleven. He used his feet well while hitting 11 fours and two sixes, apart from rotating the strike well.

The second session began with Axar taking a brace of fours against James Anderson, and was followed by Gill raising the tempo by smacking a six down the ground off Rehan Ahmed. He went on to take two consecutive boundaries – a sweep was followed by a whip through mid-wicket.

Gill and Axar were easily milking the spinners for singles while occasionally taking boundaries off them to take their partnership past fifty. Gill finally got his hundred with a flick off Bashir for single, with his century celebration being subdued and facial expressions showing sigh of relief.

Shortly after, Gill’s fine knock came to an end when his reverse-sweep against an off-break delivery from Bashir resulted in the ball taking a glove edge to Ben Foakes behind the stumps, with England getting the out decision on review. Axar was next to depart, trapped lbw on review by a length ball from Hartley which kept low.

Rehan Ahmed then trapped KS Bharat lbw, but review showed the googly would have missed the stumps. Bharat ended the session with an on-drive for four against Hartley to be unbeaten on six, with Ravichandran Ashwin giving him company on one not out, as India aim to run towards a big lead.

Brief scores: India 396 and 227/6 in 64 overs (Shubman Gill 104, Axar Patel 45; James Anderson 2-29, Tom Hartley 2-71) lead England 253 by 370 runs

–IANS

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