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Cricketing Carnival in Ahmedabad!

By Rediff Cricket
February 25, 2021 20:53 IST
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IMAGE: Fans celebrate ahead of start of Day 2 of the second Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi stadium in Motera on Thursday, February 25, 2021. Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

There was finally some joy among the gloom as fans thronged the Narendra Modi stadium in Motera for the second Test between India and England.

The N M stadium took over from the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the world's biggest cricket stadium on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, and Team India made sure their fans left a happy lot even though the game didn't even last two days.

Fans, who were deprived of live cricketing action this past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, made sure to flock to the stadium in large numbers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 55,000 fans were allowed to attend the match, but there was no shortage of passion as fans came in early through the gates to watch the cricketers in action.

There was no shortage of entertainment on the field as local lad Axar Patel took 6/38 to send England crashing for 112 in their first innings on Day 1.

India replied with 145 courtesy of Rohit Sharma's 66 before another five-wicket haul by Axar, who took 11 wickets for 70 runs in the Test, saw England crashing for 81 in their second innings, their lowest score against India.

The Test will always be remembered for spin sensation Ravichandran Ashwin's landmark 400th wicket in Test cricket.

The 34 year old is the fourth Indian to scale the landmark of 400 wickets in Tests after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev, (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417).

Ashwin (77th Test) is the second fastest after Sri Lankan spin legend Muttaiah Muralitharan (72nd Test) to get to the 400 wicket mark in Tests, ahead of Richard Hadlee, Dale Steyn, Rangana Herath and Anil Kumble.

For IPL fans, some IPL trivia: The Delhi Capitals had the most (4) players on the playing XI -- Ashwin, Axar, Ishant Pant (who was playing his 100th Test and bowled a mere 5 overs in the first innings and none in the second) and Rishabh Pant.

Delhi Capitals Coach Ricky Ponting must be very pleased that his two spinners took 18 of the 20 England wickets to fall at the N M stadium.

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