ENGLAND hardly cruised to victory over India, but the win was never in doubt when it required only 41 to take a 2-1 lead at Eden Gardens with one Test to play.
Ravichandran Ashwin remained undefeated on 91 but it took James Anderson only four balls to see off Indian No. 11 Pragyan Ojha as India was bowled out for 247 in its second innings.
England stumbled to 3-8 against the spin of Ashwin and Ojha before Ian Bell and Nick Compton staved off any thought of one of the most dramatic collapses in Test history.
India hadn’t lost a Test at Eden Gardens this century and England needs just a draw in Nagpur to become the first team to win a series in India since 2004.
Captain Alastair Cook’s batting and Anderson and Monty Panesar’s bowling had put England well in control and victory was only delayed when Ashwin’s efforts helped India put on 88 runs for the last two wickets to prevent England finishing the game inside four days.
Ashwin was denied a second Test century, but got his own back when Cook came down the wicket to him in the first over of England’s mini-chase and was stumped for only the second time in his first-class career.
Jonathan Trott was then lbw pushing forward to Ojha, and Kevin Pietersen, playing defensively, edged Ashwin behind for a five-ball duck.
India (1st innings) 316
England (1st innings) 523
India (2nd innings) G GAMBHIR c Prior b Finn 40 V SEHWAG b Swann 49 C PUJARA run out (Bell) 8 S TENDULKAR c Trott b Swann 5 V KOHLI c Prior b Finn 20 Y SINGH b Anderson 11 M DHONI c Cook b Anderson 0 R ASHWIN not out 91 Z KHAN lbw Finn 0 I SHARMA b Panesar 10 P OJHA b Anderson 3Sundries (8b, 2lb) 10Total 247Fall of wickets: 86 (Sehwag), 98 (Pujara), 103 (Gambhir), 107 (Tendulkar), 122 (Singh), 122 (Dhoni), 155 (Kohli), 159 (Khan), 197 (Sharma), 247 (Ojha)Bowling: J Anderson 15.4-4-38-3, S Finn 18-6-45-3, M Panesar 22-1-75-1, G Swann 28-9-70-2, S Patel 1-0-9-0
England (2nd innings) A COOK st Dhoni b Ashwin 1 N COMPTON not out 9 J TROTT lbw b Ojha 3 K PIETERSEN c Dhoni b Ashwin 0 I BELL not out 28Total (3 wkts) 41Fall of wickets: 4 (Cook), 7 (Trott), 8 (Pietersen)Bowling: R Ashwin 6.1-1-31-2, P Ojha 6-3-10-1Result: England won by 7 wicketsSeries: England leads four-match series 2-1
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.