If it weren't for Ravi Ashwin's batting unbeaten 83, India would have fallen to an innings defeat on day four of the third Test against England in Kolkata, but the all-rounder resisted England's bowlers in the evening to drag the game into a final day.
At stumps, India sat on 239 for nine, with a slim lead of 32 and unlikely to prevent a loss come Sunday, but Ashwin's knock, and Pragyan Ojha's silent partnership with the bat, ensured India were spared the humiliation of an innings loss.
At one stage, India were 122 for six and staring down the barrel, before Ashwin arrived just before tea to frustrate the daylights out of Alastair Cook's bowlers, much to the delight of the Eden Gardens fans.
In the morning, India conceded only 14 runs for the last four wickets as England were all out for 523, with a lead of 207. The ball turned appreciably, with Ojha and Ashwin taking three of the four England scalps, though the last one of Monty Panesar was given LBW when he'd picked up an edge onto the pad.
England started the day on 506 for six, with Matt Prior (41) and Graeme Swann(21) in the middle. Swann was first to fall, caught by Virender Sehwag off Ojha off his first ball faced on the day. Prior soon followed, caught behind by MS Dhoni off Zaheer Khan.
That left James Anderson and Steve Finn to add a few runs, and the former scored two boundaries before falling to Ashwin for nine. A smiling Panesar then arrived in the middle, but left scowling a delivery later as he was wrongly given out.
India's openers had little trouble with the fast bowlers and negotiated them with calm assurance. When the spinners were brought on with less than 10 overs gone in the innings, this confidence grew rather than wavered.
Sehwag was the more aggressive of the two, reaching lunch on 49 off 56 balls, but Gambhir found his feet in the final over of the session, smacking Panesar for a six and a four to walk off on 33 off 70 deliveries, the score 86/0.
But England clearly consumed something magical during that break, as they came out firing from all cylinders and struck with the first ball of the session. Swann removed Sehwag's bails with a gorgeous delivery that spun back into the right-hander and beat his bat.
India then lost their next three wickets for nine runs, with Cheteshwar Pujara suffering a rare failure as he made just eight, while Sachin Tendulkar's knock saw him record just five before edging Swann to Trott in the slips.
Gambhir lasted long enough to make 40 runs, while Yuvraj Singh an Dhoni fell within a delivery of each other to Anderson with the score on 122. Anderson was superb with the ball, swinging it both ways at pace.
By the time tea arrived, Virat Kohli and Ashwin had stuck around for 23 runs in more than 12 overs, as they looked to dig themselves out of the hole they found themselves in.
Kohli's poor series continued though, and he could only make 20 runs in his 60 balls, though he tried to hang about with Ashwin. The spinner had to watch as Zaheer Khan also departed, before Ishant Sharma made a valiant 10 off 53 balls.
The final hour was torture for England, as they watched Ashwin kick up a gear and score 13 boundaries in the fading light. They took the new ball with three overs to go, but could not make it sing. Matt Prior will be ruing his missed stumping when Ashwin was on 22...