2nd Test: Shubman Gill’s 60 not out helps India extend lead to 273 runs despite England fightback

February 4, 2024
Shubman Gill hit his first half-century as a number three batter in Test cricket to keep India afloat in their second innings
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Visakhapatnam, Feb 4 (IANS) Shubman Gill hit his first half-century as a number three batter in Test cricket to keep India afloat in their second innings, as the hosts extended their lead to 273 runs against England at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

At lunch, India are 130/4 in 35 overs, with Gill unbeaten on 60, overcoming a lean run and nervy start to his innings, while using his feet to good effect against spinners. Giving him company is Axar Patel, who is not out on two. India are slightly ahead of England, who made a fightback by picking four wickets, with the standout being James Anderson bowling another mesmerising spell of swing bowling.

Anderson’s first over of the morning saw him send Rohit Sharma’s off-stump on a cartwheel ride with a delivery which nipped away just slightly to beat him on forward defence. In his next over, Anderson got one to nip away and take Yashasvi Jaiswal’s outside edge on drive to first slip.

Gill could have been the third batter to get out if he hadn’t taken the DRS on an lbw decision against Tom Hartley, with replays showing a slight inside edge. In the next over, Gill escaped again when Anderson trapped him lbw with a nip-backer, as the umpire’s call showed the ball clipping just the top of leg-stump.

Gill then began to settle himself by smacking a six over Shoaib Bashir’s head and glanced past Hartley for four more. Rehan Ahmed’s introduction didn’t yield a scalp as Gill cut twice off him for boundaries. After sweeping Hartley for four, Gill took a brace of fours off Ahmed, including a cover drive, to reach a valuable fifty.

The 81-run stand for the third wicket came to an end when Iyer mistimed the slog off Hartley and Ben Stokes ran 22 yards from mid-off and brought out the dive to take a difficult over the shoulder catch. Rehan came back to strike a big blow before lunch, by getting one to skid on and take the bottom edge of Rajat Patidar’s backfoot drive for Ben Foakes to take a superb low catch.

Brief scores: India 396 and 130/4 in 35 overs (Shubman Gill 60 not out; James Anderson 2-15) lead England 253 by 273 runs

–IANS

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