England finally got into the winning ways after defeating India by a crushing margin of 266 runs in the Third Investec Test at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton. This was England’s first win after playing 10 Test matches. Team India collapsed to the off-spin bowling of Moeen Ali which was quite baffling. Moeen Ali who was in controversy of sporting the ‘Save Gaza’ wristband claimed career best figures of 6 for 67.
Above pic: England celebrate their victory as Moeen Ali cleans up last man Pankaj Singh during the final day’s play of the 3rd Investec Test at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on July 31, 2014
Toss and Teams of England vs India, 3rd Investec Test at Southampton:
On a track that had a nice green tinge, Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat. His team made three changes with Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan taking the places of Matt Prior, Ben Stokes and Liam Plunkett. India made two changes with Rohit Sharma and Pankaj Singh replacing Stuart Binny and the injured Ishant Sharma. Both Jos Buttler and Pankaj Singh made their Test debuts.
Day 1: The first day was a Cook-Ballance show as England closed at a solid total of 247 for 2. Alastair Cook missed out on a century but was content with a score of 95. Gary Ballance went on to score his 4th Test century and he remained unbeaten on 104. Debutant Pankaj Singh was extremely unlucky as Alastair Cook was dropped on 15 at third slip by Ravindra Jadeja off his bowling. Ian Bell should have been lbw to Pankaj Singh with the second new ball but the Umpire in question played safe by giving it not out.
Day 2: England piled up a massive total of 569 for 7 and declared its innings. Gary Ballance finished with a career best of 156. Ian Bell found his form to pound the Indian bowling for his 21st Test century while ending up with 167. Jos Buttler who was lucky not to be given out caught on 0 went on to smash the Indian bowling for 85 from just 83 balls. India finished Day 2 at 25 for the loss of Shikhar Dhawan who as usual edged James Anderson to the slips.
Day 3: A couple of soft dismissals from the Indians saw them lose the plot and give the control to England. By the close of the third day’s play, India slipped into a losing position at 323 for 8. Ajinkya Rahane played well for his 54 before miscuing a pull off Moeen Ali. Virat Kohli promised a lot but only to be dismissed by Jimmy Anderson for 39. Murali Vijay, the man in form was dismissed for 35 by Stuart Broad during a moment of indecision and temporary lapse of concentration. Skipper MS Dhoni fought his way to an unbeaten 50.
Day 4: It took no time for England to wrap up the Indian first innings for 330 with James Anderson claiming his 16th five-wicket haul. England decided against enforcing the follow on and without wasting much time got rid of its second innings by scoring 205 for 4 in 40.4 overs. Alastair Cook got his second fifty of the match, scoring an unbeaten 70. Gary Ballance scored 38 while Joe Root got England moving with a 41-ball 56.
England’s declaration left them with 132 overs to bowl out India whose target was 445. By stumps on the penultimate day, half of the damage was done as India collapsed to 112 for 4 losing its top four. The irony was Moeen Ali got two wickets that of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli while Joe Root got the well set Shikhar Dhawan. The other wicket came through a run out by Stuart Broad with Murali Vijay being the victim of a wrongly judged single from the on side by Shikhar Dhawan.
Day 5: India wasn’t expected to give any fight and the tourists simply didn’t disappoint the expectations. The only man fighting was Ajinkya Rahane who scored his second fifty of the game and was running out of partners quickly. Rahane remained unbeaten on 52. India were bundled out for 178 with James Anderson and Moeen Ali doing the clean up job.
James Anderson was named as the Man of the Match for taking 7 wickets in the Test.