Ben Stokes bowls England to victory in gripping finish

August 4, 2018

EDGBASTON:  It was a heart-breaking déjà vu of the Adelaide Oval for Virat Kohli where, in December 2014, he had batted in a rare zone and nearly pulled off a miraculous win for India. At Edgbaston, undone eventually by a superior seam attack, Kohli finally made a mistake with India still 53 short of an improbable win. The last three wickets could only add a further 21 despite Hardik Pandya’s resistance. At the other end of the field was a spent, exhausted, overcome-with-emotion Ben Stokes, who had managed the mammoth task of getting Kohli out. He took the last wicket too, triggering collective relief for England, who had let the visitors back in the game twice with their lack of ruthlessness. In Adelaide, Kohli had left India 60 to get. Here it was seven fewer. You don’t imagine Kohli as the tragic hero, but Adelaide and Birmingham remain his two best innings according to him. And technically speaking, he went one better in the second innings of this Test. There was less playing and missing than in the first. He began to work James Anderson around. He unleashed a few cover drives. Most of all he stayed calm. Even as India began the day needing 84 with five wickets in hand, which became four in the first over with Anderson taking out Dinesh Karthik.“That was a long final session today and towards the end we were getting tired. So if we recover well, come back refreshed, we know it will be 25-30 over max one way or the other so we can have that in our minds, to give it all we can.”Kohli remained unfussed, showing excellent judgement of what balls to leave and when to play when England tried the straight lbw delivery. He faced only seven balls in the first six overs. Agencies