England vs India 1st Test Day 4: Stokes stars as England claim nail-biting win

Ben Stokes four wickets England India 1st Test Day 4 Edgbaston cricket

Ben Stokes is mobbed by his teammates after leading England to a heart-racing win

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England all-rounder Ben Stokes stole the spotlight on the fourth day at Edgbaston as he took out India captain Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya to lead his side to a thrilling 31-run win.

Starting off the day on 110/5, India lost wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik on the sixth ball of the day as he was caught by Dawid Malan at second slip off the bowling of James Anderson for 20.

Kohli began to take over once Karthik was out and soon brought up his half-century.

With Kohli threatening to derail England’s hopes of winning the match, Stokes provided dismissed the in-form Indian skipper by trapping him lbw.

Kohli immediately reviewed the decision, but replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit leg stump.

Stokes struck again three balls later as he had Shami caught behind for a duck.

Ishant Sharma managed to score 11 runs before he was rapped on the pads in front of the stumps off the bowling of Adil Rashid.

England decided to ask for a review and even though there seemed to be a slight murmur when the ball passed Ishant’s bat, the third umpire decided that it was not enough evidence to stick with the on-field decision. Furthermore, with the ball pitching in line and going on to crash into the stumps, Ishant was given his marching orders.

With one wicket remaining, Pandya tried to carry India to the finish line, but his efforts went in vain as India were bowled out for 162 when he was eventually caught by Alastair Cook at first slip off the bowling of Stokes for 31.

Stokes was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Anderson and Stuart Broad took two wickets apiece. As for Rashid and Sam Curran, they claimed one wicket each.

Kohli was gutted to have lost, and said: “First of all I think it was a great game. Glad to be part of such an exciting Test. Lot of times we came back, showed character there. But England were relentless. They made us work hard for the runs. Definitely could have applied ourselves better, but I’m proud of the fight. Haven’t had the time to speak [to the team] but it’ll be about taking the positives. We can be proud of the team for starting like that in a big series.

“Lot to learn from the lower order – Ishant and Umesh getting stuck in there. Those sort of things make you look in the mirror as a top order batsman. We’ve got to be positive, fearless and take the negatives out.

“From the team’s point of view, the century was probably up there. Second-best to Adelaide. One that I’ll remember. When you take your team close, it always feels good. Test match cricket is lovely. It’s my favourite. There’s nothing better than testing yourself against top quality for five days.”

England captain Joe Root was delighted to have taken a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series, and said: “I am thrilled to bits. It has been a fantastic team performance despite the ups and downs the credit must go to the bowling unit. The easy thing to do is criticise the batters. We knew that if we stayed calm throughout, we would give ourselves the best chance to win.

“We did a good job in staying calm. We made sure we didn’t get ahead of ourselves and after three days of fantastic cricket from both sides it gives us a lot of confidence going into the next game. Sam Curran has a great amount of skill, very exciting and promising cricketer. It is easy to make an emotional decision right now, but we need to sit outside and decide for Lord’s depending on the surface.”

Curran was named Man of the Match, and said: “I can’t take it all at the moment. It feels like I’m dreaming. I’m sure I’ll sleep well tonight because I didn’t get any last night. Lucky for Stokesy, he got an awesome start and turned it around. To be honest, I tried to learn a bit from Virat. Met Kumar the other day in the hotel and he spoke to me a bit about batting with the tail. Playing Test cricket in front of this crowd, with these guys I have grown up watching – I am just looking to learn everyday.”

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