Match report: Eng v Ind, 3rd Test - Day 4
Birmingham, Aug 13: The formidable England bowling-attack demolished India’s batting line-up before tea on Day 4 to win the four Test series 3-0 with one game still remaining. The hosts defeated the visitors by an innings and 242 runs to register an emphatic win and wrest the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test ratings from a floundering India.
MS Dhoni was left stranded on an unbeaten 74 off 79 balls at the end of the match post-lunch; wickets had fallen thick and fast right through the first two sessions. James Anderson led England’s bowling attack with a four-for while Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan took two wickets each to help seal the inevitable win.
Earlier, James Anderson removed Gautam Gambhir off his first delivery of the day as the batsman tentatively nudged the ball to Graeme Swann at second slip. In his next over, the pacer picked the key wicket of Rahul Dravid, the only Indian batsman who has so far been able to hold his own successfully against the English pacers. An outswinger seemed to have taken the edge of the veteran cricketer’s bat before Matt Prior took the catch. A few overs later, Anderson claimed VVS Laxman caught behind to complete his four-for.
Losing three wickets in the first hour of play, India were stumbling with just 56 runs on the board for the loss of four wickets as the England bowlers continued to tighten their stranglehold on the game and series. Suresh Raina got a life while still on a single run as Andrew Strauss dropped him off Graeme Swann, but a while later, the spinner trapped him leg-before.
With half the side back in the dressing room India’s hopes of even making it through the day rested on the shoulders of Sachin Tendulkar and the skipper. But India were out of luck as Tendulkar was run-out at the non-striker’s end for 40 runs; Dhoni struck Swann hard and straight, the bowler got his hand to the ball which hit the stumps and Tendulkar couldn’t make it back in time. This was a massive blow to India as Tendulkar was punching the ball hard and seemed to be in good nick with eight boundaries in his 60-ball knock.
At lunch, India were six wickets down for 116 runs with Dhoni and Amit Mishra battling it out in the middle. The second over after lunch saw the back of Mishra, caught off an attempted hit over the covers.
Praveen Kumar, who replaced Mishra, entertained the crowds with an 18-ball cameo before Broad got the better of him. Before departing for 40 runs, Kumar slammed three sixes and five boundaries to infuse some life into the Indian innings. He was involved in a 75-run partnership with Dhoni that also helped India cross the 200-run mark.
In his next over, Broad sent back Ishant Sharma for naught. As wickets fell at the other end, Dhoni, continuing from his previous innings, hit the bowlers all over the park. But Sreesanth, unaccustomed to the conditions and having sustained a few blows already, fell to Tim Bresnan, ending the Indian innings.
Brief Score (At the end of Day 4): India 1st innings 224 all out in 62.2 overs (MS Dhoni 77, G Gambhir 38, S Broad 4/53, T Bresnan 4/62), England 1st innings 710/7 in 188.1 overs (Alastair Cook 294, E Morgan 104, Andrew Strauss 87, A Mishra 3/150, P Kumar 2/ 98); India 2nd innings 244 all out in 55.3 overs (MS Dhoni 74 *, S R Tendulkar 40, P Kumar 40, J Anderson 4/85)
Man-of-the-Match: Alastair Cook for a career-best 294 in England’s first innings; the batsman broke several records along the way, including that for the highest individual Test score at Edgbaston.
Day 1 - The England bowlers backed their skipper’s decision to bowl first by cheaply dismissing India’s top-order in the first session of the day at Edgbaston. But a brilliant effort by the Indian skipper MS Dhoni (77 runs, 10X 4, 3X6) saw India cross the 200-run mark; the visitors were, at one stage, struggling at 111 for seven. Stuart Broad, the thorn in India’s side this series, claimed a four-for, and so did the terrific Tim Bresnan.
Day 2- After their bowlers ran through India’s batting line up on Day 1, it was the turn of the England batsmen to punish India on Day 2 of the third Test. The hosts continued to pile on the runs at Edgbaston, taking singles at will and scoring boundaries at regular intervals, while the Indian bowlers struggled to find a breakthrough.
Remaining unbeaten on 182 runs and sharing two century partnerships, England opener Alastair Cook helped his side end the day at 456 runs for the loss of just three wickets.
Day 3 - Alastair Cook became the highest run-scorer at Edgbaston with a superbly compiled 294 runs on Day 3 of the third Test between England and India. He was, however, unfortunate to miss out on a triple century, falling to an aerial shot caught by Suresh Raina off Ishant Sharma’s bowling. The left-handed opener powered England to a 486-run lead, giving England a chance to inflict an innings defeat over India.
At stumps on Day 3, India were on 35 runs for the loss of Virender Sehwag’s wicket in 12 overs with Gautam Gambhir (14* runs) and Dravid (18* runs) at the crease. Dismissed by Anderson off the second ball of the innings, Sehwag became only the second opener in the history of Test cricket to get a king pair and the 13th batsman to suffer this dubious fate. Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid, who replaced him at the crease, became the first batsman in Test cricket to score 10,000 runs while batting at No 3.