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Cricket: Ruthless India demolish England to go 2-1 up in series

LONDON: Spinner Ravindra Jadeja combined with his seam bowling team mates to bowl India to an emphatic 157-run victory over England in the fourth test on Monday and put the touring side 2-1 up in the series.

Chasing a record victory target of 368, England started strongly but suffered a spectacular batting collapse after the lunch break to lose six wickets in the second session on the final day at The Oval.

Openers Haseeb Hameed (63) and Rory Burns (50) hit half-centuries before England unravelled and were eventually bowled out for 210 an hour into the final session.

The match was effectively over when Shardul Thakur dismissed England captain Joe Root for 36 with an innocuous delivery which the in-form batsman dragged on to his stumps.

India had conceded a 99-run first-innings lead but amassed 466 in their second innings to set the hosts a daunting target.

"I'm really proud of the character the team has shown," an elated India captain Virat Kohli said.

"Especially this morning, the way we bowled, I think it's definitely among the top three bowling performances that I've witnessed as Indian captain."

Jadeja kept bowling into the rough to trouble the batsmen, claiming the wickets of Hameed and England vice-captain Moeen Ali.

Jasprit Bumrah struck twice in successive overs to break the back of England's middle order.

Umesh Yadav took 3-60 but Bumrah was particularly impressive, generating reverse swing with the scuffed-up ball to trouble batsmen on a flat pitch.

England were guilty of squandering a century opening stand.

They had a nightmarish second session when they lost four wickets for six runs and never recovered.

"Frustrating not to get something from the game today," Root said at the presentation ceremony.

"We felt we had an opportunity to win, but credit to India, they got the ball to reverse and that was the turning-point."

India opener Rohit Sharma, whose stellar 127 was the only century of the match that helped India set England a massive target, was adjudged man-of-the-match.

The fifth and final test starts at Old Trafford in Manchester on Friday.

Source: Reuters

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