England overcome last-minute wobble to complete seven-wicket win over India
England 523 & 41-3 beat India 316 and 247 by seven wickets
Sunday 09 December 2012
England overcame a last-minute wobble to complete a seven-wicket win over India at Eden Gardens this morning and take a 2-1 lead with one Test to play.
Ravichandran Ashwin (91no) remained undefeated after his valiant resistance last night, but on the final day it took James Anderson (three for 38) only four balls to see off number 11 Pragyan Ojha as India were bowled out for 247 in their second innings.
England were left needing only 41 for a thoroughly-deserved victory, yet then stumbled to eight for three against the spin of Ashwin and Ojha before they got over the line.
Ian Bell and Nick Compton settled the nerves and the issue, and England can therefore no longer lose this series.
For India, it was a first defeat since the last millennium at this famous venue, and England will become the first tourists since 2004 to win a Test series here if they can at least draw the last match in Nagpur.
After dominating the first three days thanks to captain Alastair Cook's batting and Anderson and Monty Panesar's bowling, they endured a chastening first session yesterday but then took six wickets for only 36 runs in the afternoon.
Only Ashwin delayed them, as 88 runs were added for the last two wickets and prevented England finishing the game inside four days.
The number eight immediately counted two more boundaries this morning too, a high-class back-foot force past cover and a vicious pull past midwicket off Steven Finn.
But in the second over, Anderson snaked one into left-hander Ojha from round the wicket and - even while he was appealing for caught-behind - belatedly noticed he had in fact dislodged the off-bail to at last end a last-wicket stand of exactly 50.
Ashwin had been denied a second Test century, but got his own back when Cook came down the wicket to him in the first over of England's mini-chase and was stumped for only the second time in his first-class career.
When Jonathan Trott was then lbw pushing forward to Ojha, and Kevin Pietersen edged Ashwin behind in defence for a five-ball duck, the unthinkable seemed briefly and horribly possible.
But the previously out-of-form Bell, in particular, had other ideas.
Anthony Martial transfer: Martial arts not in doubt but £36m is huge gamble by Manchester United
Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo scrapped amid fears of plagiarism
Arjen Robben to Manchester United: Bayern Munich winger linked with Old Trafford, but deal highly unlikely
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners fans devastated as they become only team in top 5 European leagues not to sign outfield player
David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 1 If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
- 4 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 5 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms