ENGLAND CRUMBLE TO OVAL DEFEAT
England slumped to a 157-run defeat to India on the final day of the fourth Test at the Oval on Monday, with the tourists now holding a 2-1 lead in the series.
India can now clinch their first series success on English soil since 2007 if they avoid defeat in the final Test, which is due to get underway at Old Trafford on Friday.
The final day began with all three results still possible, as England resumed on 77-0 and still believing they could reach their target of 368 for victory, which would have been their highest successful chase in Test cricket.
However, the likelihood of that happening dampened following the dismissals of Rory Burns (50) and Dawid Malan (5) before lunch – the latter needlessly being run out as England looked to improve their scoring.
A solid afternoon session would have still kept England in the hunt for the draw, but they proceeded to lose four wickets for just six runs, as India produced a bowling masterclass, with Jasprit Bumrah (2-27) particularly catching the eye with reverse swing topping 90mph.
Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja also took two wickets apiece, while Umesh Yadav picked up the final three, with James Anderson being the last to be dismissed, as England were all-out for 210.
Haseeb Hameed top scored for England with 63, but it was a case of what might have been for the hosts, with captain Joe Root left wondering how they turned a chance of victory into a defeat.
“It is frustrating not to be able to get anything from the game today,” Root told Sky Sports. “We turn up this morning and we really feel like we had an opportunity to win the Test match, especially that opening partnership which I thought was outstanding.
“Credit to India, they got the ball to reverse and they made good use of that. It was a brilliant spell of bowling from Bumrah and that really was the turning point in the game.”
He added: “I think we look at other areas in the Test match where we may have missed opportunities. We could have been a little bit better, could have made more of an advantage of that first innings lead.
“Obviously in the field it’s difficult, with some of those chances where you have got to take them against world-class players.”
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