Millennium Post

Hardik Pandya's fifer gives India upper hand in third Test

Nottingham: Hardik Pandya picked up his maiden five-wicket haul as India bowled out England for 161 in the first innings to take the upperhand in the third cricket Test, here on Sunday.

After posting 329 in their first innings, Pandya picked up a career-best five for 28 as England lost 10 wickets in the post lunch session of the second day to be bowled out in 38.2 overs at Trent Bridge. Ishant Sharma (2/22) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/37) also picked up two apiece.

But Pandya turned out to be the cynosure of all eyes with a lethal five-over opening spell that sent the English line-up reeling in a space of 28 balls.

India, thus, took a vital 168-run lead in the first innings.

Coming on to bat after lunch, the hosts crossed 50 in the 10th over, after which the downfall began.

Sharma was handed the ball as play restarted and he had both openers – Alastair Cook (29) and Keaton Jennings (20) in all sorts of trouble.

He dismissed Cook for the tenth time in Test cricket, caught behind in the 12th over after the left-hander was dropped by Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip two balls earlier.

On the very first ball of the next over, Bumrah removed Jennings caught behind as well.

Olliver Pope (10) and Joe Root (16) added 21 runs for the third wicket, but Sharma's fuller lengths caused all sort of troubles for both the batsman. He had Pope caught behind as well with Rishabh Pant latching on to his third catch of the day.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (0/3) went off the field for a short time owing to a stiff hip, but he recovered enough to return to the field.

Pandya made sure that the off-spinner wasn't required at all in the first innings. First, he had Root caught at second slip with KL Rahul getting his fingers under the ball in time for the TV umpire to rule in his favour.

An over later, Pandya and Rahul combined again to send Jonny Bairstow (15) back. England were reeling at 108 for 5 in the 30th over as Ben Stokes' struggle ended with Rahul this time claiming a catch off Mohammed Shami (1/56).

Pandya wasn't done just yet. His next three wickets came in the space of three balls across the 31st and 33rd over, during which he was on a hattrick as well.

Pandya accounted for both Chris Woakes (8) and Adil Rashid (5) as Pant collected his fifth catch in only his first Test outing. Pandya was on a hattrick after he trapped Stuart Broad (0) with the first ball of the next over, but James Anderson (1 not out) fended it off.

Pandya's 28-ball effort was the second-quickest five-wicket haul for India in Test cricket after Harbhajan Singh took a fiver off 27 balls against West Indies in 2006.

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