Match report: Ind vs Eng – 1st Test, Day 4
Ahmedabad, Nov 18: Batting through the day, England skipper, Alastair Cook scripted his team’s comeback with an unbeaten 168 in the second innings in the first Test, after being asked to follow on. He found an able ally in Matt Prior (84*), and with an unbroken 141-run partnership for the fifth wicket they helped England to 10-run lead with five wickets in hand at the Sardar Patel Stadium. At stumps on Day 4 England were 340 for five in Motera courtesy the monumental efforts of Cook and Prior.
Earlier, Nick Compton was the first to be sent back by in the morning. Although MS Dhoni missed a stumping off Ravichandran Ashwin to dismiss the England opener, a couple of overs later Zaheer Khan trapped the debutant leg-before for 37.
A few overs later, Pragyan Ojha who had claimed half the English side in the first innings removed Jonathon Trott and in his next over he rattled Kevin Pietersen stumps for the second time in the match. But undeterred by the fall of two quick wickets, a patient Cook brought up his century with two off Umesh Yadav. Hitting the young Indian pacer down the leg side the he brought up his third century as the England skipper.
Having lost three wickets for 71 runs in the morning, England went in to lunch at 182 for three. In his first over after lunch, Yadav dealt a double blow and was on a hat-trick after claiming the wickets of Ian Bell and Samit Patel off successive deliveries. The young Indian fast bowler, replacing senior pacer Khan, claimed the two batsmen lbw off the last two balls of his over. At 199 for five, Prior joined Cook in the middle and the duo batted through the rest of the session ensuring that they did not lose anymore wickets and inched towards India’s first innings total. The Indian bowlers could not get anymore more breakthroughs. With an unbroken 65-run partnership in the post-lunch session they took England to 264 for five, 66 runs away from avoiding an innings defeat. Stretching the England innings into the last session of the fourth day, Cook was batting on 138 with Prior on 40 when tea was taken.
Although he missed out on a well deserved half-century by two runs in the first innings, Prior got to it soon after tea, while the England captain went past his 150. Continuing to graft runs the duo bided their time to overcame the deficit and eventually took England past the India’s mammoth first innings total of 521. With a superb cover drive off Ojha, Prior helped England level scores with the home team.
While Cook anchored the innings, Prior held up the other end to help rescue England from sinking on the fourth day. The duo dug in their feet and with purposeful knocks, took the match into fifth day and ensured that India will have to bat again.
At the end of Day 4: England 2nd innings 340/5 in 128 overs (A Cook 168*, M Prior 84*, U Yadav 2/60)
At the end of Day 3: England 1st innings 191 all out in 74.2 overs (M Prior 48, A Cook 41, PP Ojha 5/45, R Ashwin 3/80); England 2nd innings 111/0 in 38 overs (A Cook 74*, N Compton 34*)
At the end of Day 2: India 1st innings 521/8 decl. in 160 overs (C Pujara 206*, Yuvraj Singh 74, G Swann 5/144); England 1st innings 41/3 in 18 overs (A Cook 22*, K Pietersen 6*, R Ashwin 2/21, PP Ojha 1/3)
At the end of Day 1: India 1st innings 323/4 in 90 overs (V Sehwag 117, C Pujara 98*, Y Singh 24*, G Swann 4/85