Chennai:Medium pacer James Anderson breathed fire picking up three wickets to put England on the cusp of victory in the first cricket test against India here today.At lunch on the final day, set a daunting target of 420, India,resuming at 39 for one, were reeling at 144 for six in 39 overs,
despite a fighting half century by young opener Shubman Gill (50, 83, 7x4, 1x6). Skipper Virat Kohli, who struck three consecutive boundaries of offie Dom Bess, was batting on 45 (51 balls, 5x4) along with R Ashwin (2, 16 balls).
Earlier, Gill played an attractive knock and Pujara dropped anchor. But a superb delivery from left arm spinner Jack Leach,which gripped, bounced and turned, proved to be the undoing as the edge climed to Stokes at first slip.The exit of Pujara opened the sluice gates as a three wicket burst by Anderson virtually shut the doors on India,
Anderson who was introduced in the attack, struck immediately.First he breached the defence of Gill with a ball that came in sharply and in the same over got rid of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (0) in a similar fashion.Anderson got his third wicket when lefthander Rishab Pant spooned a slower one to England skipper Joe Root at short cover.
Anderson's today spell of 5-3-6-3 put England on the threshold of a win and take a 1-0 lead in the four match series, as India lost first innings hero Washington Sundar, who was beaten by the bounce and turn of Dom Bess.While India faces an uphill task of batting the remaining two sessions to force an unlikely draw, England just needed four wickets for a famous win.
Following is the scoreboard :
England (first innings) 578.
India (first innings) 337.
England (second innings) : 178
India second innings:
Rohit Sharma b Jack Leach 12
Shubman Gill b Anderson 50
Cheteswar Pujara c Stokes b leach 15
Virat Kohli (batting) 45
Ajinkya Rahane b James Anderson 0
Rishab Pant c Root b James Anderson 11
Washington Sundarc Butler b Don Bess 0
R Ashwin (batting) 2
Extras : (b-4, lb-4, nb-1) 9
Total : 144 for six in 39 overs.
Fall of wickets : 1-25, 2-58, 3-92, 4-92, 5-110, 6-117.
Jofra Archer 8-4-22-0
Jack Leach 16-2-56-2
James Anderson 7-4-8-3
Dom Bess 8-0-50-1