Akash Deep hits Crawley's stumps twice, gets Pope, Duckett after no-ball setback | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Akash Deep shatters Zak Crawley's stumps twice, comes back after no-ball setback to dismiss Duckett, Pope in dream debut

Feb 23, 2024 01:30 PM IST

Akash Deep had a roller coaster start to his maiden Test debut, and it included plenty of drama.

Akash Deep had a bittersweet start to his India Test debut on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth match against England, in Ranchi on Friday. In the fifth delivery of the fourth over, the 27-year-old sent a lovely delivery, which nipped back from length around off. The ball surged past Zak Crawley's inside edge, hitting the off stumps, followed by Akash jumping in joy, thinking that he got his maiden Test wicket.

Akash Deep had a roller coaster start to his maiden Test debut.(X)
Akash Deep had a roller coaster start to his maiden Test debut.(X)

The joy was short lived as the siren went off, as it was a front foot no-ball and the celebrations had to be cut short.

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Akash eventually got his maiden wicket in the 10th over and this time it was a legal delivery. In the second ball of the over, Akash sent a good length delivery, which went straight to the left-handed Ben Duckett, who edged it for a simple catch to Dhruv Jurel. Once again Akash celebrated as Duckett departed for 11 off 21 balls.

He struck again in the same over, removing Ollie Pope. In the fourth delivery, Akash's ball nipped back in from length and Pope was beaten on the inside edge, as the ball hit him in front of off. India reviewed and it was hitting top of middle stump, with Pope leaving for a two-ball duck.

Then, he removed Crawley in the fifth delivery of the 12th over. Receiving a nip-backer, Crawley failed to connect well and it hit the top of off stump, sending Akash into a state of utter delight! Crawley departed for 42 off 42 balls.

Initially, England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and opted to bat. Speaking after toss, Stokes explained his decision by commenting that the pitch is a 'bat-first' track. Meanwhile, India skipper Rohit Sharma also revealed that he would have preferred to bat first as well.

"We would have batted first as well. Looks a bit dry and has some cracks, but that's the nature of the pitch here. The last two games were good for us and we'll have to play in the same way. Proud of a lot of young guys in the squad, they've taken the responsibility and have taken the challenge head-on. They are confident in their skills, moving forward it's a good thing. One change with Akash Deep making his debut," said Rohit.

The hosts overcame a shock loss in Hyderabad, with two massive victories in Vizag and Rajot to take a 2-1 series lead. A win in Ranchi will see them clinch the series and take an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Meanwhile, a win for England will see the series go to Dharamshala for a winner take all fixture. India opted to rest Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul is still unavailable. Rahul's absence sees Rajat Patidar take up the other batting slot.

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