England out for 205, India reaches 24-1 in last test

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Ahmedabad, India

India spinners claimed eight more England wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 205 on the first day of the fourth and final test on Thursday. India was 24-1 at stumps, and on course to win the series 3-1.

England opted to bat first on another dry pitch at Narendra Modi Stadium, where India won the third test inside two days. But this pitch was batsman friendly and England wasted it.

There were several good starts but only Ben Stokes made a half-century while dealing with a stomach issue.

Stokes negotiated 121 balls for 55 until he was trapped by Washington Sundar in the middle session — the most prosperous session for England as it scored 70 runs for the loss of two wickets.

Medium-pacer Mohammed Siraj trapped the dangerous Joe Root on 5 and Jonny Bairstow on 28 to reduce England to 78-4 just after lunch, and Stokes was next out.

Ollie Pope, with 29, and Dan Lawrence, with 46, shared a 45-run stand until Ravichandran Ashwin claimed three wickets after tea.

Left-armer Axar Patel cleaned up with 4-68, just missing a 5-for for a fourth straight innings.

India’s reply started with Shubman Gill lost lbw off the third ball to James Anderson.

Cheteshwar Pujara, on 15, and Rohit Sharma, 8, saw the home team to stumps.
Earlier, England lost both openers within the first two overs to Patel.

Patel took 11 wickets in the 10-wicket win in the third test, and was immediately successful when captain Virat Kohli introduced spin in only the sixth over.

Patel knocked back the stumps of Dom Sibley (2) off his second ball, and Zak Crawley (9) chipped a simple catch to mid-off in Patel’s second over.

Siraj replaced Jasprit Bumrah — unavailable for personal reasons — and brilliantly set up Root’s dismissal with a sharp in-swinger to trap the skipper as England slipped to 30-3 inside the first hour.Bairstow and Stokes counterattacked to reach lunch at 74-3. But Siraj claimed both of them.

Stokes looked comfortable against spin, welcoming Ashwin with a straight six and reached his half-century with an authoritative reverse swept boundary against Patel.

But he was undone by Sundar, who bowled around the wicket to the left-hander. —AP