Match report: Ind vs Eng – 4th Test, Day 4
England led by 165 runs with seven wickets in hand at the end of the fourth day of the last Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha. Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell were batting on 66 and 24 respectively when play ended today.
Earlier India declared their first innings halfway through the morning session conceding a four-run lead to the visitors. Ravichandran Ashwin resumed the innings on the penultimate day with Pragyan Ojha and added 20 runs to the total taking India past the 300-run mark, before the latter was sent back by Monty Panesar. England’s key weapon in the last two matches, the left-arm spinner claimed his first wicket of the match when he bowled Ojha for three. Ishant Sharma then joined Ashwin in the middle and duo added nine runs, before MS Dhoni declared the innings. Ashwin was unbeaten on 29 with Sharma on two when the innings was halted.
England captain, Alastair Cook, then opened the innings with Nick Compton and with England having the upper hand in the series, the duo defended at an unhurried pace. Alastair Cook who has been in peak form in the series and played a key role in the last three matches was unbeaten on one with his opening partner on four when lunch was called.
However, the England skipper was the first to depart after lunch. After adding 12 more runs to his tally in the second session, Cook walked back after being caught by Dhoni behind the wicket off Ashwin. Trott, replacing Cook, then joined Compton and the duo prodded the innings forward, while the Indian bowlers looked for a breakthrough. It was in the last over before tea that the home team got another scalp. Ojha struck to claim the England opener for 34. With two balls remaining in the over, tea was called with England leading by 85 runs.
With both the openers back in the pavilion, the dangerous Kevin Pietersen walked out to the middle and a few overs into the last session he survived a half chance as Virender Sehwag at first slip missed a catch off Ravindra Jadeja. However, in the next over, the debutant disrupted Pietersen’s timber for six, after being hit to the fine-leg boundary off the previous delivery. The left-arm spinner claimed England’s No.4 bat for the second time in the match to give India an important breakthrough. England who were till then extending the lead at a slow pace decided to quicken the pace as Trott inched towards his half-century.
Trott then reached his fifty with a single to thirdman off Sharma. The two batsmen stitched together a fruitful partnership and took the innings past the 150-run mark keeping the visitors in an advantageous position. With the Trott-Bell stand unbroken on 67, and England on 161 for the loss of three wickets at stumps, the visitors appear to be in control of the innings as they look to claim the series tomorrow.
At the end of Day 4: India 1st innings 326/9 decl. in 143 overs (R Ashwin 29*, M Panesar 1/81); England 2nd innings 161/3 in 79 overs (J Trott 66*, N Compton 34, R Jadeja 1/27)
At the end of Day 3: India 1st innings 297/8 in 130.1 overs (Virat Kohli 103, MS Dhoni 99, J Anderson 4/68, G Swann 3/76)
At the end of Day 2: England 1st innings 330 all out in 145.5 overs (J Root 73, M Prior 57, G Swann 56, P Chawla 4/69, I Sharma 3/49); India 1st innings 87/4 in 41 overs (G Gambhir 37, J Anderson 3/24)
At the end of Day 1: England 1st innings 199/5 in 97 overs (K Pietersen 73, M Prior 34*, J Root 31*, 2/32, I Sharma R Jadeja 2/34)