Leech spins England to 227-win over India in 1st Test

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach captured four wickets to spin an in-form England to a huge 227-run win over host India in the first Test here, and took a crucial 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Having set India a 420-run target to win, England bowled a listless India out for 192 in 58.1 overs, with 29-year Leach taking four for 76 and speedster James Anderson bagging three for 17. All five bowlers took wickets, with fast bowler Jofra Archer, off-spinner Dominic Bess, and pacer Ben Stokes taking one scalp each.

For India, captain Virat Kohli was the top scorer with 72 off 104 balls while young Shubman Gill chipped in with a 83-ball 50.

After winning the toss, England had scored 578 in their first innings, thanks to captain Joe Root’s superb 218, Dominic Sibley’s 87, and Stokes’s 82. In reply, India posted 337, and conceded a lead of 241. In their second innings, Indian bowlers performed much better as they bowled England out for 178, thanks to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who took six wickets for 61.

But chasing a target of 420 was always going to be extremely tough for India on a crumbling and dusty MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch.

This was India’s first defeat against England at this venue in 35 years, during which five Tests were played.

The second Test will also be played here, from Saturday.