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Ben Stokes dismisses Virat Kohli for a duck as England battle hard against India

Will Macpherson
·2-min read
Ben Stokes charges in (Getty Images)
Ben Stokes charges in (Getty Images)

Ben Stokes provided England with the key wicket of Virat Kohli for a duck and Jimmy Anderson struck on the stroke of lunch as England battled hard on the second morning in Ahmedabad.

India took lunch on 80 for four, having lost the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, and only managing a scoring rate of 2.2 through the session.

Rohit Sharma – a thorn in England’s side all series – still stands in England’s way, however, and Rahane launched a useful counter-attack until being prised out bye Anderson with the final ball of the session. The match is beautifully poised.

Stokes admitted on the first evening that England’s wasteful 205 was around 100 runs light, leaving them no choice but to perform well with the ball.

Having played nothing more than a bit-part role with the ball in the series – taking one wicket in 16 overs before this game – and suffered from illness in recent days, Stokes shouldered that burden himself, bowling 10 overs in the morning session.

At first that involved keeping it tight with Anderson, who remained parsimonious after bowling five straight maidens on the first evening.

The nine overs of the day brought just 10 runs for Rohit and Pujara. Leach entered the attack and, in his second over, pinned Pujara in front. It is the fourth time in the series that Pujara – who took a review with him – has fallen to Pujara.

Stokes swapped ends and found some extra bounce to have Kohli caught behind. Stokes has just two wickets this series, and both are the India captain – who has now recorded two ducks in a series for the first time since 2014.

Rahane struck four boundaries, while Rohit attacked a little more as the session drew to a close. But the return of Anderson for a burst before the break, with the ball swinging, unsettled Rahane, who was caught well at slip by Stokes, giving England a hard-earned third wicket.