IND vs ENG: India extends lead after Ashwin takes five

India was 54 for 1 and a lead of 249 runs at stumps on day two of the second Test with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten at the crease.

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with Virat Kohli after dismissing England's Ben Stokes on day two of the second Test.   -  PTI

It was the last ball of the 18th over. The final delivery before lunch. Dan Lawrence had laboured his way to 9 off 51 balls. More importantly, he had kept Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel at bay on a day-two rank turner.

Then, Ashwin pushed one through, attacking the stumps from around the wicket. The ball turned and bounced, and took away a part of the top surface with puff of dust flying, as Lawrence pushed in front of his body and popped up a catch to Shubman Gill at short leg. Lawrence was crestfallen. Ashwin was ecstatic.

Scorecard | Highlights

His 29th Test five-for – back-to-back five-wicket hauls in Chennai – coupled with yet another entertaining Rishabh Pant fifty put India 249 runs in front at the end of day two of the second Test against England at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday. India was 54 for 1 in the third innings at stumps with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease.

As many as 15 wickets fell on Sunday. This was the sort of pitch where deliveries bounced calf-high after one gripped and kicked. No matter how well you batted, no matter how long you had been at the crease, you couldn’t prepare yourself for what was next – as Ben Stokes found out. Five overs after the lunch break, Ashwin drifted one in to clean-bowl the talismanic all-rounder and become No. 2 on the list for most Test wickets in India. Ashwin had bowled unchanged from the start of England’s first innings and his first spell read 16-3-33-3. Meanwhile, as England’s batting imploded, Virat Kohli egged the crowd on like an animated conductor rousing his orchestra to a crescendo.

IND vs ENG: Ashwin bags fifer, picks 350 international wickets at home  

Earlier, Patel – making his Test debut – had prised out England skipper Joe Root, who top-edged a sweep to Ashwin at short fine leg, for his maiden Test wicket. Unlike the England top order, who seemed reluctant to step out against the spinners, Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes used their feet and rotated the strike to add 35 for the sixth wicket. But just as the visiting side was starting to inspire hope, Mohammed Siraj dismissed Pope, thanks to a stunning one-handed catch down the leg side from Rishabh Pant. Pope dragged himself despondently from the crease as Siraj celebrated his first wicket with a big smile. Moeen Ali and Olly Stone fell soon with England eight down for 106 at tea.

The only resistance came from Foakes (42 not out), who not only faced more deliveries than any of England’s top six, but also ensured his team avoided the follow-on. He got little help from the tailenders as Ishant and Ashwin got rid of Leach and Stuart Broad to bowl England out cheaply. Ashwin finished with five for 43.