Updated: Tue, 05 Jul 2022 06:22 PM IST
England batters Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow slammed centuries to help their team to achieve a mammoth target of 378 runs and level the series against India at the Edgbaston Cricket Stadium in Birmingham on Tuesday. Joe Root (142) and Jonny Bairstow (114) forged a 269-run partnership for the unbroken fourth wicket to reach the 378-run target with two sessions to spare.
With this chase, England also registered a record in their name as this is the highest-ever run chase by the English team in its cricketing history. The five-match series could not be completed last year following COVID-19 cases in the India camp ahead of the final match at Old Trafford.
With this, England has levelled the series 2-2, denying India their first series win on English soil since 2007. India has also been handed over their first Test loss while defending a total of 350 or more.
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.
This was also the fourth time England chased down a target of over 250 in the fourth innings, the earlier three being against New Zealand -- 277, 299, 296 -- in their 3-0 home Test series win last month.
Chasing 378 for victory, England went into the final day needing 119 runs with seven wickets in hand. Root went on to smash a masterly 142 not out, his 28th test century. Bairstow's unbeaten 114 was his second hundred of the match as England triumphed with two sessions to spare.
Resuming the day at 259 for 3, England hit the required 119 runs in 19.4 overs. Root's 173-ball innings were decorated with 19 fours and one six while Bairstow struck 15 boundaries and hit once over the ropes in his 145-ball innings. It was Bairstow's second ton of the match as he had made 106 off 140 balls in England's first innings.
The Indian bowlers toiled the whole of the morning session without success, Captain Jasprit Bumrah (2/74) was the only Indian bowler to take a wicket in England's second innings. He ended the match with five wickets. Mohammed Siraj had taken four wickets in England's first innings.
A 150-run stand between Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root helped turn things in favour of England at the end of the final session of Day Four of the ongoing fifth and final Test against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Monday.
At the end of the day's play, England's score read 259/3, with Root (76*) and Bairstow (72*) standing tall. Indians were left clueless by the determination and strokeplay of both in-form batters.
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.
(With Agencies Inputs)