As it happened – India vs England, 2nd Test, Chennai, 3rd day

As it happened - India vs England, 2nd Test, Chennai, 3rd day

Welcome to day three of our live report of the second India-England Test from Chennai. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here

*Most recent entry will appear at the top, please refresh your page for the latest updates. All times are local

5.00pm: Stumps

England 134 and 53 for 3 (Lawrence 19*, Root 2*) need 429 more runs to beat India 329 and 286 (Ashwin 106, Kohli 62, Moeen 4-98, Leach 4-100)

As India flexed their muscle on day three, moving inexorably towards a series-levelling triumph over England, the second Chennai Test began to take on a carnival feel. Already well ahead in the game and with time to indulge, they served up an exhibition for a grateful Chepauk crowd. R Ashwin, the local hero, proved himself worthy of such billing with a fifth Test hundred and England were hanging on by stumps as the ball fizzed and the close catchers circled.

After the subcontinental batting masterclass, followed closely by a trial against spin, now was the moment for England to contend with an Indian wall of sound. Despite scrapping hard to take five wickets during the morning session, they were steadily enveloped by the hoots, whistles and cheers from the stands, as first Virat Kohli and then Ashwin steadied India’s second innings, before the home spinners returned to their task with relish.

Notionally, England needed 482 to win or two-and-a-bit days of rearguard resistance. Practically, they were merely searching for scraps of encouragement with which to accompany them on the road to Ahmedabad.

There could be no more appropriate thala in the home team’s efforts to drive home their advantage than Ashwin. He came into this came having not passed 50 in a Test since 2017, but after taking an aggressive approach from the outset, he eventually reached a raucously received fifth Test hundred during the evening session – achieving the double of a century and a five-wicket haul in the same match for the third time. Just imagine the decibel level if Chepauk had been at more than 50% capacity.

4.45pm: Two in two overs

Poor shot from Rory Burns, caught at slip as he looks to work Ashwin into the leg side, and he has now made 78 runs in his last eight Test innings, dating back to the start of England’s series against Pakistan in August 2020. He’s looked badly out of nick in this series, and will be watching nervously over his shoulder with Zak Crawley likely to be fit for the third Test and Jonny Bairstow back in Chennai. And Jack Leach, in as the nightwatchman, then falls six balls later to the first one he faces: the ball turns from a length, and he can only nudge it to leg gully.

4.35pm: Lawrence lets loose

Dan Lawrence and his #wrists are in the building, and he has whipped Axar Patel for a couple of early boundaries through midwicket. Just as the TV cameras cut to England’s national selector and head coach – Ed Smith and Chris Silverwood – deep in conversation, Lawrence skips down the track and plants Ashwin over long-on. This innings is something of a free hit for him, with Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow both ready to return in the third Test – even a half-century might not save his place – and it looks as though Lawrence is not going to die wondering.

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