Outclassed for second straight time
By Sanatan Pani | ENS | Published: 10th December 2012 09:32 AM |
The inevitable happened albeit after 55 minutes of intense drama as for the first time since 1999-2000 India suffered back-to-back defeats in a home Test series, going down to England by seven wickets on the fifth and final morning of the third Test at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
England made heavy weather before overhauling the required 41 runs for victory, which gave them a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. Three wickets tumbled for eight runs before Nick Compton and Ian Bell knocked off the required runs without further damage.
England captain Alastair Cook was stumped in the first over of their second innings off Ravichandran Ashwin. Cook stepped out with the intention to hit the off-spinner for a four or a six, but was beaten by the turn and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni made no mistake in whipping off the bails. For only the second time in his Test career, Cook was out stumped.
Two overs later, lead spinner Pragyan Ojha struck from the other end, trapping Jonathan Trott lbw with an arm ball. And the dwindling excitement at Eden suddenly came alive with Ashwin having Kevin Pietersen caught behind by Dhoni in the next over. However, Bell, who remained unbeaten on 28, and Compton put an end to the drama with sensible batting. Earlier, India were all out for 247 in the second innings after adding eight runs to their overnight score.
Ashwin, who helped India avert the humiliation of an innings defeat earlier on Saturday, continued in the same vein, hitting fast bowler Steven Finn for two boundaries in the first over of the day.
The two fours carried Ashwin closer to the second Test ton of his career and drew loud cheers from the stand.
But England pace spearhead James Anderson denied Ashwin a well-deserved ton by bowling Ojha in the fourth ball of the next over.
Thus ended an eventful Test, in which a disciplined performance, not the pitch, decided the winners. Cook, who starred in England’s win with a monumental knock of 190, showing discipline and patience as an opening batsman, was rightly adjudged Man of the Match.