Robinson powers England to innings victory over India at Headingley


here was to be no Headingley miracle this time. England romped to victory on the fourth morning of a Test they have dominated, with Ollie Robinson and James Anderson putting on a new-ball clinic to down India by an innings and 76 runs. With two matches to play, a tantalising series is level.

In stark contrast to the slate-grey skies that defined the first three days, the fourth morning was a blue-skied beauty: perfect for batting.

After an encouraging third day, India resumed 135 runs behind, with eight second innings wickets in hand. Two of those were Cheteshwar Pujara, resuming on 91, and Virat Kohli, who had 45, his highest score of the series. The pitch was flat. There was reason for Indian optimism.

The catch was that Anderson and Robinson had immediate access to a brand new ball. They used it beautifully to ensure that there would be no need for England to take the slow road – the only they expected to use – to victory. It was all wrapped up in 103 minutes as India lost eight for 63 on the fourth morning.

Anderson and Robinson started the day with three maidens. In the fourth over, Pujara unwisely padded up to Robinson. Umpire Illingworth turned down the appeal, but England’s review worked, and Pujara was gone without adding to his overnight score.

Anjinkya Rahane and Kohli kept England at bay, briefly. Kohli was given out on 46, caught behind off the final ball of a sensational Anderson over. Kohli turned to walk off as England celebrated, before changing his mind. Rahane persuaded him to review, and it emerged that the sound was his bat flicking his pad as he drove.

In the following over, Kohli stroked two boundaries to move to his first fifty of the series. But moments later, Robinson had him edging to slip, then Anderson had Rahane caught behind. When Rishabh Pant – whose method appears to have deserted him – fenced to third slip, India had lost three for two and this was a procession.

England were into the tail, and that was never lasting long. Moeen Ali breezed a beauty through Mohammed Shami’s gate, then Robinson had Ishant Sharma caught behind. England were two away, and Robinson had his second five-fer in four Tests. His figures on the day were 8-2-25-4, and he has 23 wickets at under 18 already in Test cricket.

Ravi Jadeja briefly counter-attacked, launching Moeen for six and stroking three wickets from Craig Overton’s first over. But Overton’s second saw him caught behind and Jasprit Bumrah taken at slip to secure a memorable victory for England.

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