England fire back as Duckett hits historic ton in third India Test

The visitors are following their BazBall brand with full-flow

By Web Desk
February 16, 2024
Ben Duckett celebrates after scoring a century against India. — X/@englandcricket

Ben Duckett took England’s BazBall to the whole next level as the left-handed batter played a fiery knock of 113* runs on just 118 balls in reply to India’s 445 in the first innings on day two of the third Test in Rajkot on Friday.

Duckett secured the record for the quickest Test century by an Englishman in the sub-continent as he reached his third Test hundred — the visiting team batting aggressively to trail India by 238 runs at stumps.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin achieved membership to the 500-wicket club in Tests during England's innings, becoming the second-fastest to reach the milestone after legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, when he dismissed opener Zak Crawley (15) caught at short fine leg off a top edge, breaking England’s 84-run opening partnership.

Earlier in the day, India added 119 runs to their overnight total of 326-5, with debutant Dhruv Jurel (46) and Ashwin (37) providing resilient lower-order batting, forming a 77-run partnership for the eighth wicket.

India lost two early wickets but Ashwin and Jurel batted with patience and occasional boundaries to tackle a persistent England attack which skipper Ben Stokes rotated in his landmark 100th Test.

Rehan Ahmed sent back Ashwin with his leg-spin in the afternoon and then got Jurel caught behind on a delivery that pitched and turned sharply.

Number 10 Bumrah hit a breezy 26 to frustrate England before Wood got him lbw to finish 4-114 after his three strikes on day one.

Fast bowler James Anderson struck first to get nightwatchman Kuldeep Yadav caught behind for four. Anderson moved to 696 Test wickets over 185 matches since his 2003 debut.

The 41-year-old seamer is poised to become only the third bowler in history to reach 700 wickets after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and late Australian spin wizard Shane Warne (708).

Part-time spinner Joe Root had overnight centurion Ravindra Jadeja caught and bowled on 112 as the hosts lost two wickets in the first five overs of the day.

The five-Test series is level at 1-1 after England won the opener in Hyderabad and India bounced back in the second match.