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England end 28-year wait with series win in India

Last updated on: December 17, 2012 16:12 IST
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England broke a 28-year-old jinx on Monday, achieving a historic Test series triumph on Indian soil and leaving the hosts embarrassed with a 2-1 verdict after the fourth and final match ended in a draw in Nagpur.

The last time an English side defeated India in their own backyard was way back in 1984-85, under the captaincy of David Gower.

- Scorecard

The day belonged to centurions Jonathan Trott (143) and Ian Bell (116 not out) even as the story remained the same for the hapless Indians, who toiled without much success before the match was called off on the final day with England scoring 352 for 4.

Jonathan Trott (left) and Ian Bell during their partnershipIndia needed to take quick wickets to entertain hopes of a victory, but that did not happen, as Trott and Bell batted off the first session to ensure an English series triumph.

The English players broke into wild celebrations the moment the two sides mutually agreed to a draw at the VCA stadium. There was a feeling of bonhomie and the tourists hugged each other even as gloom descended on the Indian dressing room.

Bell and debutant Joe Root (20) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn for the final time in the series.

It was a remarkable turnaround from the visitors after the humiliating defeat in the series opener in Ahmedabad a month ago.

England staged a strong comeback in the next match, in Mumbai, crushing India by 10 wickets, and repeated the script in the third Test, in Kolkata, where the visitors cruised by seven wickets.

This is also the first time in the last eight years that India suffered a Test series defeat at home.

Australia had beaten India 2-1 in 2004-05.

The 31-year-old Trott was finally dismissed for 143, caught at leg slip by Virat Kohli when he turned off R Ashwin straight to the fielder, after a marathon stay of 406 minutes. He struck 18 fours in his 310-ball essay.

The visitors were ahead by four runs in the first innings after making 330, while India had replied with 326 for 9 declared.

The fourth wicket duo, which combined forces late on Sunday, with England at 94 for 3 following theĀ fall of star batsman Kevin Pietersen, put on a partnership of 208 runs in 474 balls to seal India's faint hopes of forcing a series-levelling victory on the lifeless track.

The duo slowly crept towards the record fourth wicket partnership of 214 between Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood set up at Chennai on their previous visit to India in 2008 before falling short by six runs.

They, however, went past the 191-run stand between Peter Parfitt and Barry Knight in 1964 at Kanpur and the 206 stand between Ken Barrington and Ted Dexter in 1961 at the same Green Park ground -- the second and third highest for the wicket by England in India.

India had one clear chance of breaking the partnership before it actually ended but Virender Sehwag, at slip, took evasive action instead of trying to catch Bell on 75 late in the second session when the batsman cut Piyush Chawla.

Incidentally, just like Alastair Cook and his men have done in this rubber, Gower's outfit too rebounded after losing the opening Test.

The hosts, energetic in the first hour when they bowled 18 overs, became lethargic later as the Trott and Bell refused to budge and defied all the bowlers. They seemed to be just going through the motions.

In the morning, the visitors, in contrast to the run-crawl on Sunday, were a lot more positive in their approach with Bell, in particular, playing some superb carpet drives and a glorious pull shot off Ishant Sharma on the wicket of low bounce.

Photograph: BCCI

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