England absolutely thrash pathetic India
An England bowling attack minus the services of the injured Stuart Broad careened through a feeble Indian batting unit to cap a convincing innings and 54-run triumph on day three of the fourth Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday.
An England bowling attack minus the services of the injured Stuart Broad careened through a feeble Indian batting unit to cap a convincing innings and 54-run triumph on day three of the fourth Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Broad, who orchestrated a telling six-wicket haul in the first innings, was bloodied by a venomous bouncer from fast bowler Varun Aaron on Saturday – and was unable to bowl. Led by the seasoned James Anderson, fellow right-armers Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes – and spinner Moeen Ali – collectively filled the void with great success.
Ali was certainly the pick of the bunch, reaffirming an underrated role as a genuine spin bowler with telling figures of four for 39. Anderson and Jordan, meanwhile, snared a key brace each – and Woakes was responsible for the pivotal dismissal of the in-form Murali Vjiay.
India suffered their second spectacular collapse of the match in losing nine wickets after tea – including five for 13 in 21 balls as England went two-one up in the five-match series ahead of next week's finale at The Oval.
Ali, whose Test-best six for 67 sealed a 266-run win in the third Test in Southampton earlier this month, took four for 13 in 37 balls on the way to innings figures of four for 39 in 13 overs.
This latest collapse started when left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir gloved a short ball from Anderson to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. Next ball, the start of a new over, saw 53 for two become 53 for three when Cheteshwar Pujara was given out lbw to Ali as he pushed forward.
Pujara looked unhappy but, with India objections meaning the Decision Review System was not in use this series, he had to go. But there was no doubt at all when Ajinkya Rahane (one) chipped a tame return catch to Ali.
And then 61 for four became 61 for five when Virat Kohli's miserable tour continued when, on seven, he edged Anderson, on his Lancashire home ground, to Ian Bell at second slip.
That left the talented batsman with a tally of just 108 runs in eight innings this series at an average of 13.50. Then a crowd drenched in sunshine – a marked contrast to the rain which had cut short Friday's play – had more to cheer when Ravindra Jadeja was caught at slip by Jordan off Ali.
India were now 66 for six with England, one nil down in the series after a 95-run defeat in the second Test at Lord's, on the brink of going two-one up. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had defied England with 71 in the first innings.
But trying to attack Ali he was brilliantly caught for 27 by Gary Ballance, diving to his right at midwicket.
India were now 105 for seven, with all-rounder Ali having taken four for 13 in 27 balls. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, caught off a Jordan no-ball on nine, did not make the most of his reprieve when run out for 10 by Ali's throw to Buttler.
Jordan, however, got in on the act by taking the last two wickets in as many balls, with Varun Aaron caught behind and Pankaj Singh yorked for a duck as India were dismissed for 161 in 43 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin was 46 not out, the top score in an innings where Dhoni's 27 was the next best score.
England had resumed on Saturday on 237 for six. Pankaj's long wait for a first Test wicket – after a debut record worst wicketless return of none for 179 in Southampton – eventually ended when the 6ft 6in paceman took two for four in 15 balls with the new ball.
He dismissed both Joe Root (77) and Buttler (70) after the pair had put on 134 for the seventh wicket. But England still compiled a total of 367 that gave them a first-innings lead of 215 – more than enough runs as it proved to withstand Broad's absence.
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