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England out-bat India to pull off record chase, level series

July 05, 2022 17:48 IST
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Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root put on a 250-run partnership to help England to victory

IMAGE: Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root put on a 250-run partnership to help England to victory. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

England rode unbeaten hundreds by Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to pull off their highest successful chase, coasting to a series-levelling seven-wicket victory in the rearranged fifth test against India at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

 

Chasing 378 for victory, England went into the final day needing 119 runs with seven wickets in hand.

Joe Root celebrates reaching his  28th Test century.  

IMAGE: Joe Root celebrates reaching his 28th Test century. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Root went on to smash a masterly 142 not out, his 28th test century, forging a mammoth 269-run partnership for the unbroken fourth wicket with Bairstow. Root's elegant hundred was studded with 19 boundaries and a six.

Bairstow's unbeaten 114 was his second hundred of the match as England triumphed with two sessions to spare.

India's Mohammed Siraj reacts after being hit for a boundary by Joe Root 

IMAGE: India's Mohammed Siraj reacts after being hit for a boundary by Joe Root. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

England's previous highest successful run chase came in 2019 when they reached a 359-run target in an Ashes test against Australia on the back of Stokes's brilliant unbeaten century.

It was a tremendous turnaround by England who had been on the back foot after conceding a significant first-innings lead of 132.

Joe Root scoops the ball for a six  

IMAGE: Joe Root scoops the ball for a six. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Root and Bairstow showed the kind of sustained aggression which is quickly becoming the hallmark of this England test team since Brendon McCullum took over as the head coach and Ben Stokes assumed captaincy.

Root grew so much in confidence that he treated Shardul Thakur like a spinner, stepping out against the seamer and then playing an audacious reverse-scoop against him that sailed over for a six.

Jonny Bairstow celebrates reaching his century  

IMAGE: Jonny Bairstow celebrates reaching his century. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Bairstow brought up his fourth hundred in five innings with a tight single before hitting Mohammed Siraj for three successive boundaries.

The five-match series against India could not be completed last year following COVID-19 cases in the India camp ahead of the final match at Old Trafford.

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