Moeen Ali spun England to victory as they ended a run of 10 Tests without a win by beating India by 266 runs in the third Test at Southampton on Thursday.
Ali took six for 67 in 20.4 overs, including a spell of four for 17 in 22 balls as England completed a crushing win that saw them level the five-match series at 1-1.
India, chasing what would have been a new fourth innings record winning total of 445, were bowled out for 178 before lunch on the fifth day.
After resuming on 112 for four, India collapsed as they lost their final six wickets for 66 runs inside 25 overs on Thursday, with only Ajinkya Rahane (52 not out) offering much in the way of resistance.
“It’s been a really good week, I had a good feeling coming into it and we almost played the perfect game,” under pressure England captain Alastair Cook told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
“It does not mean we have cracked it but it was pretty good,” added Cook, who put a run of low scores behind him by making 95 and 70 not out in this match.
“Ali’s bowling has come on leaps and bounds this summer; he’s fronted up to the responsibility, worked really hard and responded well.
“Getting six wickets to win the game, you couldn’t ask for more and James [Anderson] [who took seven wickets in the Test] bowled brilliantly.”
Sharma to miss fourth Test at Old Trafford
India captain MS Dhoni confirmed Ishant Sharma, the seven-wicket hero of their 95-run win in the second Test at Lord’s, would not be fit for the fourth Test at Old Trafford starting on August 7 after missing this match through injury.
“Sharma definitely won’t be fit for the fourth Test,” said Dhoni.
Anderson concern for remaining Tests
One major concern for England is that man-of-the-match Anderson could miss both the fourth Test at his Lancashire home ground and the series finale at The Oval if an International Cricket Council disciplinary hearing on Friday regarding his dust-up with Jadeja in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge finds against him.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” said Anderson. “It’s been in the background and we have done outstandingly well as a team to put it out of our minds.
“Once I’m out on the field the one thing on my mind is to take wickets, and I did that.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2014.
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