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India score thumping win over England
Harish Kotian in Nottingham | July 31, 2007 17:49 IST
Last Updated: July 31, 2007 19:03 IST
India lost three quick wickets before hitting up the required runs and beating England [Images] by seven wickets in the second Test, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, on Tuesday.
Set a target of 73, India resumed the last day of the Test on 10 for no loss and were on course till Chris Tremlett was introduced into the attack. The 6ft 7in right-arm pacer immediately struck, dismissing Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer, who scored 22 each.
Sachin Tendulkar [Images] also did not last long, out for 1, but Rahul Dravid [Images], who was unbeaten on 11, and Sourav Ganguly [Images], 2 not out, ensured no further hiccups as India were home in 24.1 overs and England slipped to their first home defeat in 13 months.
India's last Test victory on English soil was at the Leeds in 2002, when, riding on centuries from Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, they won by an innings and 46 runs.
Indian openers Jaffer and Karthik started the day confidently. It was a sunny morning and India had a full quota of 90 overs to get the required 63 runs.
Karthik hit a crispy boundary through the off-side in the second over off James Anderson as India appeared in no big hurry. Jaffer then followed it up with a clipped boundary off Ryan Sidebottom in the next over, the sixth of the innings.
England seemed to be going through the motions as the Indian batsman never really had any problems. There was neither the constant jabbering from behind the stumps or the clattering of jelly beans on the crease; instead, it was a jaded England team out in the middle.
In the 12th over, Jaffer hit two consecutive boundaries off Sidebottom, as the left-armer for once drifted on the batsman's pads. Even though England were out of the contest Sidebottom gave it his all, beating the bat consistently.
But India were checked in their stride by the impressive Tremlett. Jaffer, on 22, attempted a hook shot but could only top edge the ball to Kevin Pietersen [Images] at gully.
Captain Dravid is not having a good series as per his high standards. He got off the mark in style when he hit a sweetly-timed boundary through the leg side.
Tremlett then struck again. It was the steep, rising delivery that did the trick again as Karthik failed to deal with it and could only manage to glove the ball behind for 22.
Tendulkar looked nervous right from the moment he walked in to bat. He did not survive long, scoring just 1 before being caught at leg gully off Tremlett while looking to guide the ball fine.
However, there were no further setbacks as India reached the target of 73 in 24.1 overs. It was all over when wicketkeeper Matt Prior [Images] failed to collect Tremlett's full delivery, which went to the boundary, signalling an Indian victory.
India thus took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
In the end, India found it a bit harder than they may have expected, losing three wickets while chasing a small target. Tremlett provided the spark for England, claiming three wickets for 12 runs in a lively spell.
Dravid and his team will cherish this victory for long, coming as it did after the narrow escape at Lord's.
Going into the second Test, few gave them a chance, but they overcame all odds, won an important toss and never let go the initiative.