Ashwin’s six-fer gives India innings victory

It took India and Ravichandran Ashwin only 32 minutes on the final day (December 12) of the fourth Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to bowl England out and complete victory by an innings and 36 runs. Ashwin took all the four wickets to fall on the fifth day and in the process, surpassed the legendary Kapil Dev in the list of Indian bowlers with most five-wcket hauls (24) as the visitors’ second essay ended in a whimper as they were bowled out for 195.

India’s victory meant that they regained the Anthony De Mello trophy and completed a series victory over England after two failed attempts – at home in 2012 and away in 2014. A significantly smaller crowd in Mumbai, after two packed days of weekend action, still managed to create quite a din as Virat Kohli led his team on a victory lap at the end of the convincing victory. As Kohli would later acknowledge, it was at this very venue that India’s previous series against England turned for the worse. So, it was a fitting end.

It took Ashwin only nine deliveries to snuff out any hopes of England resisting on the final day. After setting the well-set overnight batsman, Jonny Bairstow (51), with a series of off-breaks, the Chennai spinner bowled the carrom ball that Bairstow played all around. It struck the England wicketkeeper in front of the stumps and despite a hopeful review, Bairstow was ready for the long walk back to the pavilion.

Ashwin then went one better as he bowled Chris Woakes through the gate before Adil Rashid found deep midwicket to a nicety to hand Ashwin yet another five-wicket haul in the series. James Anderson was welcomed with words as India crowded England’s No. 11 following the seamer’s post-Day 4 chats. The chats soon turned to appreciative hand shakes as Ashwin finished with his sixth wicket, sparking jubiliant scenes of celebration at the famous venue.

Brief Scores: England 400 & 195 (Joe Root 77, Jonny Bairstow 51; R Ashwin 6-55, Ravindra Jadeja 2-63) lost to India 631 (Virat Kohli 235, Murali Vijay 136; Adil Rashid 4-192) by an innings and 36 runs.

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