Akash Deep's sensational debut leaves England tottering at 112/5 at lunch

| | Ranchi
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Akash Deep's sensational debut leaves England tottering at 112/5 at lunch

Friday, 23 February 2024 | PTI | Ranchi

Akash Deep's sensational debut leaves England tottering at 112/5 at lunch

Fast bowler Akash Deep bowled a dream opening spell on Test debut as India left England struggling at 112 for 5 at lunch on the opening day of the fourth Test here on Friday.

The 27-year-old pacer, who hails from Bihar but came through the ranks playing domestic cricket in Bengal, hit the deck hard and aptly maneuvered the ball in both ways in a sensational bowling display in the first hour's play after Ben Stokes opted to bat.

Akash Deep, however, had to wait for a bit for his three-wicket burst of Ben Duckett (11), Ollie Pope (0) and Zak Crawley (42) in a span of 10 balls.

Akash Deep had figures of 3/24, while Ravichandran Ashwin (1/17) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/28) grabbed the wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes respectively as England lost half of their side in 24.1 overs.

Akash Deep was right on the money from the start and even uprooted Crawley's off-stump in his second over of the day, but was guilty of overstepping.

But senior pacer Mohammed Siraj struggled to get his swing going as the English opening duo had it easy against him.

Crawley, in particular, counter-attacked Siraj smashing him for three consecutive boundaries and then pulled him over midwicket for a six.

From being dropped on 4, Crawley cruised to 32 off 32 balls, forcing Rohit Sharma to bring in spin -- Ravindra Jadeja -- from the far end.

But it was Akash Deep who seized the momentum in an eventful 10th over which produced two wickets and witnessed two reviews with one going India's way.

Akash Deep's maiden wicket was Duckett. He tempted the batter to nick the ball that nipped away slightly after pitching.

The credit for Akash Deep's second wicket a ball later should go to Dhruv Jurel as the wicketkeeper convinced Rohit to take a reivew.

Pope stepped out to Akash Deep but was beaten by an incoming delivery that hit him on the knee roll and on review he was given out, LBW.

In the next ball, Root was also beaten with a ball that nipped back in as India took another review but it was outside the off-stump.

In the next over, Akash Deep returned to finally take the wicket of Crawley in an identical manner by hitting the top of the off-stump as he ended his opening spell with brilliant figures of 7-0-24-3.

Thereafter, there was a moment of semblance for England when Bairstow and Root consolidated in a 50-plus partnership.

Struggling for form, Bairstow hit some elegant boundaries (four) and hit a six before throwing his wicket away.

Bairstow was trapped in front by Ashwin while playing that dangerous sweep shot and India took another exceptional review.

The wicket handed Ashswin a rare feat as he became the first Indian bowler to take 100 wickets against England.

Jadeja then took the wicket of England skipper at the stroke of lunch.

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