England succumbed to the inevitable crushing defeat on day four of the second Test against India, out-spun and outdone on their way to a 317-run loss in Chennai.
The damage had already been done over the course of three chastening days, with England resuming on 53 for three chasing two equally unrealistic options if they were to get out of jail and preserve their 1-0 series lead.
To win they would need to turn their overnight score into a world-record chase of 482 or to draw they would need to bat for six full sessions on a spinning, spitting minefield. In the end, and to no great surprise, they came nowhere close to either outcome and were bowled out for 164.
Debutant Axar Patel finished with five wickets and there was another couple for player-of-the-match Ravichandran Ashwin, who ended the Test with eight to go with his brilliant second-innings century from number eight.
The margin was England’s heaviest defeat by runs in India, a beating that will need to be parked if the tourists are to hit back in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad.
337 v South Africa (Delhi, 2015)
321 v New Zealand (Indore, 2016)
320 v Australia (Mohali, 2008)
317 v England (Chennai, 2021)
Ashwin falls short of rare feat
Ashwin strikes and picks up the first wicket on Day 4.
🏴 4 down
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 16, 2021
Ravichandran Ashwin looked a great bet to become just the fourth player in history to score a century and take a 10-wicket haul in a match when he turned up on the penultimate morning needing four more scalps and England three down. He got the first of those with opening delivery but ended up stranded on eight due to Axar Patel’s strong showing and two from Kuldeep Yadav. Sir Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Shakib-al-Hasan remain in a club of three.