New Delhi: England have drawn the first blood with a 31-run win over India at Edgbaston to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series.

The match was delicately poised at the start of the fourth day. India needed 84 runs with five wickets in hand. Virat Kohli was holding fort on 43 and seemed to be the biggest hurdle for the hosts as they looked to start the series on a winning note.

James Anderson enticed an edge from Dinesh Karthik to put England in front before Hardik Pandya and Kohli looked to take India close to the target. Pandya hit a flurry of boundaries to ease the Indian nerves but Ben Stokes got rid of the Indian captain with his second delivery of the day. Mohammed Shami’s dismissal in the same over put England firmly in the driver’s seat.

Stokes eventually claimed Pandya’s wicket to hand England the win in what proved to be a compelling Test match.

Sam Curran, playing his second Test, was the Man of the Match for his five wickets and the decisive 63 he scored in England’s second innings to put them back in the game.

Stokes was all praise for the young all-rounder. “I thought we are a bit behind with the lead but Sam Curran took them out of play," he said. “The way that he played at such a young age, that was the big turning point of this Test match."

England captain Joe Rot lavished praise on his bowlers for swinging the match in their favour.

“Last night, [India’s] opening spell could have really been the difference, but the boys didn’t let me down at all," the England captain told BBC Test Match Special. “We missed a few chances but we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves and that’s a great sign for us going forward."

“[The series] is set up beautifully. It is a great advert for the game and for Test match cricket", he added.

Indian skipper Kohli, who scored an outstanding knock of 149 in the first innings and added another 51 in the second, added: “It was a great game of cricket and I was glad to be involved in such a fantastic Test match. We showed character at times but England were relentless in the areas they hit. We could definitely have applied ourselves better with the bat but I’m proud of the fight we showed.

“It sets up the series. There is no hiding from this game. We have to play positive and fearless."

The second Test will start on 9 August at Lord’s.

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