After the removal of Dinesh Karthik on the final delivery of the first over, India seemed to have found their groove on the last day of the opening Test, which swung with every session. However, Ben Stokes grabbed three wickets on Saturday including the crucial one of captain Virat Kohli to give England a victory by 31 runs.
The introduction of Stokes in the seventh over changed the game in England’s favour as he first trapped captain Kohli, who looked invincible with his 17th Test half-century off 88 balls. Stokes trapped Kohli lbw as the Indian skipper moved forward towards the incoming delivery. He then followed it up to dismiss bowler Mohammed Shami for a duck in the same over.
At nine down, Hardik Pandya tried to stay at the wicket and fight, rotating strike with Umesh Yadav but Stokes, who might not play the second Test owing to his court case, managed to provide England the edge they wanted. Pandya was caught at first slip to give India their fourth narrowest defeat by runs.
The point England snatched control of the first Test:
.@benstokes38 landed the ultimate knockout punch on Day 4, claiming 2 wickets in an over, including the all-important one of @imVkohli! ??#KyaHogaIssBaar #ENGvIND #SPNSports pic.twitter.com/rRSeLODoOM
— SPN- Sports (@SPNSportsIndia) 4 August 2018
With the win, England now have a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series. The second Test begins at Lord’s on 9 August. England captain Joe Root praised his teammates after the match and said, “Whenever you play games like this you want to end up on the right side for different reasons. It gives us a great deal of confidence going into the rest of the series.”