India sets challenging 399-run target for England in Visakhapatnam thriller

Visakhapatnam: A superb third Test hundred by Shubman Gill (104) helped India set a challenging target of 399 runs for England on Day 3 of the second Test here on Sunday. England reached 67/1 at stumps, needing 332 runs to win with nine wickets remaining.

India resumed at 171/2, aiming to build on their first-innings lead. However, England struck early through James Anderson, who dismissed Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal cheaply.

Undeterred, Gill and Shreyas Iyer (42) steadied the ship with an 81-run partnership before the latter fell to Ben Stokes. Debutant Rajat Patidar (13) also departed quickly, leaving India at 122/4.

But Gill, batting with maturity, found a willing ally in Axar Patel (45). The duo added 89 runs for the fifth wicket, with Gill reaching his third Test hundred in the process. He eventually fell to Shoaib Bashir, but India had pushed their lead past 300.

Ravichandran Ashwin (23) and KS Bharat (14) added valuable runs before both departed in the final session. Jasprit Bumrah (11) and Ashwin (14) chipped in with quick cameos before England closed the day with Zak Crawley (29*) and Alex Lees (38*) at the crease.

Earlier, India had declared their second innings at 255, thanks largely to Gill's ton. England were bowled out for 253 in their first innings, with Zak Crawley (76) and Ben Stokes (47) their top scorers. Jasprit Bumrah picked up six wickets for India.

The stage is set for a thrilling final day's play with England needing a monumental effort to pull off a win. India, on the other hand, will be looking to take early wickets and seal the series victory.


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