Sunday, June 16, 2024
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England humiliate India with 10-wicket win

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Mumbai: India’s ploy to prepare a spinning track backfired heavily as a spirited England inflicted a humiliating 10-wicket victory on the clueless hosts in the second Test to level the four-match series 1-1 here on Monday.

Resuming at a precarious 117-7 after conceding a vital 86-run first innings lead, the Indians were skittled out for a paltry 141 within an hour’s play on the fourth morning, leaving the visitors an easy target of 57 for victory, which they achieved without much fuss with more than five sessions to spare.

Only Gautam Gambhir (65) provided a semblance of resistance before being the last man to be dismissed, although television replays indicated that he was distinctly unlucky to be ruled out.

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar was the pick of the English bowlers with figures of 22-3-81-6 for a match haul of 11 wickets while Graeme Swann snapped up the remaining four wickets in a fine exhibition of spin bowling.

The two England openers Alastair Cook (18) and Nick Compton (30) overhauled the target in just 9.4 overs to complete the rout in a match that was dominated by the visitors in conditions which were tailor-made for the home team spinners.

The moment of triumph came through four byes off Ravichandran Ashwin, which triggered off scenes of jubilation in the England dressing room with the players hugging each other and celebrating a remarkable victory.

It was a pathetic display by the Indians who were thoroughly outplayed in their own den. While the spinners were a complete letdown on a track that suited them, the famed batting line-up also left much to be desired, failing to counter the spin threat of Panesar and Swann.

England, on the other hand, showed remarkable character and resilience to bounce back and square the series 1-1 after suffering a nine-wicket drubbing in the first Test in Ahmedabad. The turnaround was largely possible due to Kevin Pietersen and Cook’s centuries in the first innings and the brilliant bowling efforts of Panesar and Swann.

The two teams will now travel to Kolkata for the third Test, which begins on December 5.

India, who were tottering at 117 for 7 on Sunday evening against the double spin attack of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, lost their remaining wickets this morning in 11.1 overs and 43 minutes.

With Gautam Gambhir the only top order batsman left to carry on the fight to the rival camp, India stared defeat in the face and any hopes of a late turnaround were belied.

Gambhir was last out, declared leg before, off an inside edge for a defiant 65, but with the top batsmen collapsing against Panesar and Swann on Sunday after India batted for the second time in the game, there was little hope of escaping defeat.

“Definitely outplayed,” a disappointed Dhoni said.

“Monty bowled really well. All get turn, but the pace he bowled at made sure that the batsmen were on the front foot. To some extent, yes I am disappointed with our spinners. We let England bat on the back foot. We could have brought them forward.”

“When two best sides are playing, series are close. It will be a test of character in the two coming games,” he said.

His opposite number, Cook, praised his bowlers. “Credit to the way Graeme Swann and Monty bowled,” he said.

“You don’t need to tell KP (Kevin Pietersen, who was named Man-of-the-Match) anything and it was great to watch from the other end. Brilliant performance.

Pietersen said his hundred in the match ranks quite high among his personal bests.

“Now that we have won, this hundred is at the top. Yesterday I said Test hundreds feel a lot better when you win,” said Pietersen.

“Panesar and Swann were outstanding. Cooky didn’t talk about himself, but he was outstanding. (PTI)

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