Gill, Jurel dig deep to give India series win over England


England threatened to pull off a famous victory only for India to seal the series with a five-wicket win on the fourth day of the fourth Test in Ranchi.

Shoaib Bashir took two wickets in two balls just after lunch to leave India five down and 72 runs short of their target of 192.

But Shubman Gill made a chanceless unbeaten 52, sharing an unbroken stand of 72 with Dhruv Jurel, who ended 39 not out.

India had earlier been cruising, only to lose three wickets for 16 runs. Yashasvi Jaiswal skewed Joe Root to James Anderson to be out for 37, Rohit Sharma edged Tom Hartley behind on 55 and Rajat Patidar was out to Bashir for a duck.

Scoring stopped, tension rose and England’s belief grew. When Bashir pulled off his double strike, the prospect of an England win began to feel like a reality.

Instead, India take an unassailable 3-1 lead and stretch a proud unbeaten home record that dates back to 2012, while England suffer their first series defeat under Ben Stokes’ captaincy.

There is a break of more than a week before the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala begins on March 7.

England left to rue small margins

This was a captivating conclusion to a superb Test in what has been a wonderful series. When Rohit and Jaiswal were making untroubled progress to 82-0 there was no sign of the drama that would follow.

England were excellent on Monday, buzzing around in the field in an attempt to recapture the initiative they surrendered on Sunday.

Ultimately, they were left with too much to do. Even with the pitch playing tricks, and Bashir and Hartley belying their lack of experience, England were halted by the calmness of Gill and Jurel.

Like in their defeats in the second and third Tests, England can reflect on the moments of missed opportunity in this game.

Stokes’ side gave away their final three first-innings wickets for six runs and lost 5-23 in their second. Ollie Robinson’s crucial drop allowed Jurel to score 31 more runs on Sunday morning. How England would have loved to add 50 more to India’s target.

Instead, they suffer their first series loss in two years and, after draws with New Zealand and Australia, England have gone three series without a win. (BBC)

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