R Ashwin’s rare feat: Lone spinner in over 100 years to get a wicket off first ball of an innings | Cricket News

After a shoddy show by the Indian batsmen, R Ashwin led India’s fightback with the ball on Day 4 of the ongoing Test in Chennai. Minimising the damage caused by the visitors, who already gained a convincing 241-run lead, the 34-year-old produced a remarkable bowling display and went on to finish the day with 6/61 in 17.3 overs. His efforts saw India bundle up England on 178, thus leaving the hosts with a challenging 420-run target.  

In the process Ashwin also became the first spinner in over 100 years of Test cricket to dismiss a batsman off the very first ball of an innings. The 34-year-old sent England opener Rory Burns packing in the very first ball of the second innings. He is also the third spinner to achieve the rare distinction in the history of the sport. 

South Africa’s Bert Vogler was the last man to achieve this feat, when he dismissed England’s Tom Hayward in a Test match at the Oval in 1907. It was the first ball of the match.

The first spinner to achieve the feat was Yorkshire left-arm spinner Bobby Peel during an Ashes Test match in 1888. 

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“First innings became such a toil for us that we kept hoping that somehow a wicket comes along. So when I got one off the first ball in the second innings, I was so happy. But I didn’t know that it was a record. Once I came in, the team management told me that this has happened after 100 years,” Ashwin told Ishant Sharma on bcci.Tv.

“I should thank Virat because I knew that you (Ishant) were supposed to bowl but Virat told me that you go ahead and bowl the first over,” said the off-spinner, who now has 386 wickets from 75 Tests.

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