England v India: Ben Stokes takes 4-40 as hosts win Edgbaston thriller by 31 runs
|First Specsavers Test, Edgbaston (day four of five)|
|England 287 (Root 80, Ashwin 4-62) & 180 (Curran 63, Ishant 5-51)|
|India 274 (Kohli 149, Curran 4-74) & 162 (Kohli 51, Stokes 4-40)|
|England won by 31 runs; lead 1-0 in series|
England held their nerve to complete a tense 31-run victory over India on an enthralling fourth morning of the first Test at Edgbaston.
India - resuming on 110-5 in pursuit of 194 - were bowled out for 162 as tension mounted among an increasingly raucous crowd.
James Anderson removed Dinesh Karthik with the sixth ball of the day before Ben Stokes produced a brilliant over to dismiss captain Virat Kohli for 51 and Mohammed Shami for a duck.
The all-rounder sealed victory by having Hardik Pandya caught at first slip to finish with 4-40.
Joe Root's bowling changes paid off: Stokes struck twice in his first over, and recalled leg-spinner Adil Rashid trapped Ishant Sharma lbw in his first over.
Stokes in particular bowled with aggression and intelligence but he is set to miss the second Test at Lord's as his court case for affray begins in Bristol on Monday.
While India came up short, their performance was a far cry from their dismal tour four years ago and bodes well for the remainder of what promises to be a keenly contested five-Test series.
- A fabulous advert for Test cricket - Root
- England win will 'close some mouths' after criticism - Stokes
- My century does not matter after India loss - Kohli
'A crazy match' - what they said
England captain Joe Root on BBC Test Match Special: "What a game of cricket, from start to finish - it swung both ways throughout.
"It was a fantastic team performance with ups and downs, but credit has to go to the bowlers from both teams.
"Coming into today, we knew it would be a stiff test and I asked the guys to show a bit of passion and really give everything.
"I tried to be calm even if I didn't appear to be, but that sort of atmosphere doesn't make it easy - that's what it's all about. We're really proud to have got over the line."
England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Sky Sports: "We were magnificent with the ball. It's just great to be a part of this game. I don't really know how to feel right now."
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: "What a win for England. A crazy match. Fluctuating fortunes, ups and downs."
India captain Virat Kohli on TMS: "The series is set up nicely now. The fact we didn't play to our potential at all and were still close in the game says everything about us as a side."
Shades of 2005 in England win
The Ashes Test at Edgbaston in 2005, when Australia entered the fourth day needing 107 runs to win and England requiring two wickets, was mentioned several times in the build-up to the fourth day's play.
As they were 13 years ago, England were cheered on by a boisterous crowd.
Anderson struck in the first over, taking the shoulder of Karthik's bat, and Dawid Malan - who dropped three catches in the match - holding on to a low chance at second slip.
There was an intensity around England's performance as they starved Kohli of the strike.
He cut a calm figure, reaching his half-century with a flick off the hip for four, but faced only 16 of a possible 62 deliveries before his dismissal.
In a celebration reminiscent of Andrew Flintoff at Edgbaston in 2005, Stokes sank to his knees even as Kohli reviewed the lbw decision from an inswinger, before Shami dangled his bat and edged to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
Rashid, brought on to bowl at the tail, pinned Ishant in front with a googly.
Despite a late rally from Pandya, who made 31 and protected Umesh Yadav, Stokes found his edge before wheeling away in celebration.
England win despite familiar problems
Despite victory, this Test was characterised by missed opportunities for England.
Kohli was dropped twice in the slip cordon before going on to make 149 on the second day, and there is still a propensity for the middle order to collapse.
While India took their chances at times - Kohli's run-out of Root on the opening day halted England's first innings, while Ishant produced a terrific spell of swing bowling on Friday afternoon - they too could never quite grab hold of the match.
India cannot always rely on Kohli to rescue their innings, while England have real questions over the make-up of their side.
Malan struggled with the bat - he averages 20.23 in home Tests - and did not look comfortable in the slips.
Sam Curran, however, is a bright spot. His bowling on the second day and batting on the third dragged England back into the game and set the stage for a thrilling finish.
Their biggest concern for the second Test, which starts on Thursday, will be the loss of Stokes. The fourth morning underlined how important he is in both lifting England and producing an important spell when they most need it.