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Report: England vs India (Women), Test - Day 4

Mithali Raj guides India to a six-wicket win

Mithali Raj led the Indian women’s team to an emphatic six-wicket win at Wormsley in the only Test match against the England women. The India captain remained unbeaten on 50 as she guided the team to the 181-run target on the last day of the four-day game.

Resuming the day on 119 for four, Mithali Raj and Shikha Pandey ensured that the team overcame the 62-run deficit without any mishaps.

Building on the platform laid by their openers, the pair continued to chip away at the target and attained victory by the end of the first session.
Pandey was not out on 28 as she played a supporting role in the winning campaign.

Earlier, opener Smriti Mandhana had scored 51 on the penultimate day to help lay a platform for attaining the target.

Man of the Match: Jenny Gunn for her all round performance

Brief scores:

Day 1:
England 1st inn 92 all out in 41.2 overs (S Taylor 30, N Niranjana 4/19, S Sharma 2/12); India 1st inn 87/6 in 47 overs (J Goswami 13*, N Niranjana 13*, J Gunn 4/13)

Day 2: India 1st inn 114 all out in 64.2 overs (N Niranjana 27, J Gunn 5/19, K Cross 3/29); England 2nd inn 110/6 in 55 overs (L Winfield 35, S Taylor 30*, E Bisht 2/15, J Goswami 2/22 )

Day 3: England 2nd inn 202 all out in 96.3 overs (J Gunn 62*, J Goswami 4/48); India 2nd inn 119/4 in 65 overs (S Mandhana 51, M Raj 20*, K Cross 3/35)

Day 4: India 2nd inn 183/5 in 95.3 overs (M Raj 50*, S Pandey 28*).

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Report: England vs India, 5th Test - Day 2

Joe Root slams fifth half-century of the series to put England in command

England reached 385-7 to lead India by 237 runs at stumps on day two to maintain control of the fifth Test at the Oval, thanks to an unbeaten 92 from Joe Root on Saturday.

It is Joe Root’s eighth test half century. His 93-ball half-century was his fifth of the series, one in every match to replicate a feat achieved previously by only two Englishmen - Wally Hammond (1938-39 vs SA) and Peter May (1955 vs SA).

He is at the crease with Chris Jordan, 19 not out.

However, India claimed four wickets in the second session to bring them back in the reckoning. But Joe Root, who has emerged as a vital cog in the English lineup, once again pushed them on to the back-foot. While he was content playing the supporting role when Jos Buttler milked the Indian bowlers, he took control once wicket-keeper batsman departed.

Earlier, England captain Alastair Cook was dropped twice, on 65 by Murali Vijay off Varun Aaron, and on 71 by Ajinkya Rahane off Ravichandran Ashwin.

Aaron and Vijay then combined again to remove him on 79, as Cook failed in an attempt to make his first century since May 2013.

Gary Ballance made a misjudgement on 64 when he pushed rigidly a delivery by Ashwin, perhaps benefiting from a touch of extra bounce, and planted the ball into the hands of silly mid-off.

With both well-set batsmen back in the dressing room, a fresh pair - Ian Bell and Root was in the middle. And Ishant Sharma struck to give India another wicket in the following over. Replacing Aaron from one end he got Bell to edge one straight to MS Dhoni behind the stumps leaving England on 204/4.

With the fall of three quick wickets, Moeen Ali then joined Root who had faced just one ball and was yet to open his account. Ali struck couple of boundaries off Aaron through midwicket and square-leg in the next over to relieve some of the pressure and the pair worked to rebuild the innings. However, while on 14 he lost his stumps to Ashwin.

Joss Buttler then joined the in-form Root to see the hosts through to Tea. Resuming in the final session, the pair seized the momentum back. With singles and doubles they worked themselves in and then rebuild the innings. Having steadied the innings and gained in confidence they found the ropes at regular intervals. Buttler drove and guided the ball to the boundary with finesse all round the ground as he raced past his partner. While the Indian bowlers ran in and hit the deck hard with the new ball it did little to rattle the pair as they took the team past 300 and the lead past 150.

But on 45, the more aggressive of the pair, Buttler was sent back by Ishant with a delivery that came into the batsman. The middle-order bat hit the ball to Ashwin at short mid-wicket to depart.

Root who had played a quieter innings until then slammed Bhuvneshwar over for a six to get into the 40s as he looked to keep up the momentum. Even as Chris Woakes was sent back by the pacer for duck later in the over with the delivery going down the leg side grazing past the lower-order batsman’s willow and MS Dhoni dived to his left to take the catch, Root continued to attack.

Edges flew but didn’t carry as the Indian bowlers relentlessly bent their backs to curb England as Root kept them at bay.

Ashwin was the leading bowler on another difficult day for India, closing with figures of 2-55.

Brief scores:

Day 1:
India 1st inn 148 all out in 61.1 overs (MS Dhoni 82, C Woakes 3/30, C Jordon 3/32); England 1st inn 62/0 in 19 overs (S Robson 33*, A Cook 24*)

Day 2: England 2nd inn 385/7 in 105 overs (J Root 92*, A Cook 79, G Ballance 64, R Ashwin 2/55, I Sharma 2/58)