Match report: Ind vs Eng – 1st Test, Day 5
Ahmedabad, Nov 19: India cruised to a nine-wicket win over England in the first game of the four-Test series to take a 1-0 lead. Chasing 77, India reached the target in 15.3 overs at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera.
After Pragyan Ojha claimed the gritty Alastair Cook and Matt Prior in the morning to finish with a four-for in the second innings, Cheteshwar Pujara took India to victory with an unbeaten 41. The left-arm spinner finished with a nine-wicket haul in the match, while the young batsman anchored both the Indian innings with unbeaten knocks.
Although they were still in a dominating position when play commenced on Day 5, it was imperative for the Indian bowlers to make early inroads into the England line-up and end the flourishing partnership between Cook and Prior. The duo had shown great character and perseverance in reviving the visitors’ innings and ensuring that the home team had to bat again.
After nagging the England batsmen for the first few overs, Ojha ended the sixth wicket partnership for 157 in the eighth over of the day. Prior (91), who was on the verge of a well earned century, hit the ball back to Ojha. Nine runs later Ojha struck again, this time to claim the prized wicket of the England captain. Cook’s magnificent 374-ball innings ended for 176 when Ojha got past his defense and knocked off his bails.
With the tailenders at the crease, Umesh Yadav followed up with the wicket of Stuart Broad, bringing in Graeme Swann to join Tim Bresnan. And while later, Swann attempting a switch-hit off Ashwin lost his middle-stump to give India their ninth wicket. In the next over, Bresnan handed a low catch to cover off Zaheer Khan, where substitute fielder Ajinkya Rahane took the offering. With the innings wrapped up for 406 in the first session, England had set India a very modest target.
Opening with Virender Sehwag due to the unavailability of regular opener Guatam Gambhir, Pujara continued from where he had left off in the first innings. After getting off the mark with a single off James Anderson in the first over, he struck two boundaries down the leg-side off Swann in the next. Pujara looked in sublime touch as he took on the England attack with Sehwag. Scoring at a quick pace the duo brought up India’s fifty in the eighth over of the game. The dominant partner in the stand with Sehwag, Pujara contributed 32 in the 57-run partnership, before it ended. Sehwag (25), who was attempting to clear the ropes, was caught at long-on by Kevin Pietersen off Swann. With 20 runs still required, Virat Kohli joined Pujara in the middle to take India to victory.
At the end of Day 5: England 2nd innings 406 all out in 154.3 overs (A Cook 176, M Prior 91, PP Ojha 4/120, U Yadav 3/70); India 2nd innings 80/1 in 15.3 overs (C Pujara 41*, V Sehwag 25, V Kohli 14*, G Swann 1/46)
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
Man-of-the-Match: Cheteshwar Pujara for his unbeaten knocks of 206 and 41