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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » England trounce India, take 2-1 lead in series

England trounce India, take 2-1 lead in series

Last updated on: December 09, 2012 10:20 IST

England thrashed India by seven wickets, and with over two sessions to spare, in the third Test at the Eden Gardens on Saturday to take an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the four-match series.

It was the visitors' second successive victory, having also comprehensively beaten the hosts (by 10 wickets) in the second Test at the Wankhede.

- Scorecard

More importantly, it is the first time in a dozen years – since losing successive Tests in Mumbai and Bangalore against South Africa in 2000 – that India lost two Test matches back-to-back at home.

A dramatic Indian batting collapse in their second innings, that saw the hosts collapse from a comfortable 86 without loss to a precarious 122 for six, gave England total control and the leeway they required to secure their first win at the historic venue in 35 years. They last won the second Test in the 1976-77 series.

England team celebratesR Ashwin (91 not out) provided rearguard resistance, putting on a 50-run partnership for the final wicket with Pragyan Ojha (3).

The two then combined to take three early wickets in England's second innings.

However, it only delayed the inevitable.

It took the visitors only 12.1 overs to reach their target (41).

The humiliating defeat is India's first at Eden in 13 years. The last match they lost at the venue was against arch-rivals Pakistan, in the Asian Test Championships in 1999.

Earlier, Ashwin began the day with successive boundaries off Steven Finn, the first punched through cover and the second through midwicket.

The second of those hits helped him move into the nineties besides bringing up the 50-run partnership for the 10th wicket.

However, it took James Anderson only four balls in the day's second over to bring down the curtains on the Indian innings.

Ojha (3) had survived 25 balls and a huge leg before appeal off the third ball of that over. The next clipped his bail even as the visitors appealed for caught behind.

Ashwin remained unbeaten on 91, his 157-ball knock inclusive of 15 hits to the fence. 

India were eventually dismissed for 247 in their second essay, meaning England needed just 41 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series.  

The visitors started with a wobble, though.

An ambitious attempt to step out and hit the ball for a six backfired and Alastair Cook (1) was out, stumped. Ashwin, after his exploits with the bat, had struck with his fifth ball.

It was rather uncharacteristic shot from England's captain, who is a portrait of concentration in the entire series.

Three overs later, the hugely impressive Ojha accounted for Jonathan Trott (3), with an arm ball that skidded in and wrapped the batsman on the pad.

And when Ashwin had Kevin Pietersen caught behind for a duck England had lost three of its frontline batsmen with only eight runs on the board.

However, Ian Bell (28 not out) and Nick Compton (9 not out) ensured the visitors reached home without any further damage.

Photograph: BCCI