Ollie Pope falls just short of double century as India chase 231 for victory

Ollie Pope was last man out for a stunning 196 as England’s rousing resistance left India chasing 231 to win the first Test on day four in Hyderabad.

Pope fell four short a deserved double century, clean bowled attempting to scoop Jasprit Bumrah over his shoulder with just the injured Jack Leach for company, as the tourists fought their way to 420 all out in a stirring fightback.

They added 104 runs in the morning session as they became just the ninth away team in history to pass 400 in their second innings on Indian soil. When Ben Stokes departed midway through the third day, leaving the score at 163 for five, such an outcome seemed almost impossible.

Pope resumed on 148, a knock hailed by team-mate Joe Root as an “absolute masterclass”, and made it clear he was not finished yet as he reached 150 then sent a sizzling cover drive racing away for four.

His seventh-wicket partnership with Rehan Ahmed reached 64, the teenager contributing 28, before Bumrah had the 19-year-old caught behind.

That looked like a window of opportunity for India but the arrival of Tom Hartley confounded them even further, the tall left-hander looking entirely untroubled as he joined Pope in a stand of 80 in 106 balls.

The hosts were increasingly listless as England took the game on, Hartley producing a no-look scoop early in his innings before charging Ravichandran Ashwin and lacing him for four down the ground.

The arrival of the new ball did not bring the desired effect, Pope quick to flip it over his head for four more and Hartley pinging Ravindra Jadeja over the top.

Tom Hartley shared an 80-run stand with Pope.
Tom Hartley shared an 80-run stand with Pope (Mahesh Kumar/AP)

When Ashwin did beat the bat, an increasing rarity, the ball nipped past Pope’s outside edge and skimmed away for four byes. Moments after unfurling a glorious straight drive Pope was granted a life on 186, fencing Mohammed Siraj to slip only for KL Rahul to spill a low catch.

Hartley, who joined Pope in using the reverse sweep to quell the spin, was finally undone for 34 by a shin-high grubber from Ashwin and that was the turning point India needed. Mark Wood came and went for a duck, caught behind off Jadeja, and when Leach hobbled to the crease Pope decided to force the issue.

With lunch approaching he decided to stoop low paddle Bumrah over the wicketkeeper, a plan that ended with his off stump out of the ground. It was the end of a career-best knock and the seventh highest ever scored by an Englishman in the second innings.