India faced a disastrous 0-4 whitewash in The Pataudi Trophy after England defeated them by an innings and 8 runs on the final day of The Oval Test. Graeme Swann made best use of a wearing wicket finishing with a six-wicket haul to trigger a batting collapse from India who were bowled out for 283 in 91 overs despite a solid partnership between night watchman Amit Mishra and Sachin Tendulkar.
Tale of the Morning Session :
The visitors had a stiff task ahead of them as they went into Day 5 with 7 wickets in hand. The overnight pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Amit Mishra put up a tremendous partnership as India went on positively cutting down the deficit of 162 runs. England failed to break this 4th wicket partnership right through the morning session! It was the first time that India batted out an entire session without losing a single wicket, going to lunch at 216 for 3 in 65 overs with Tendulkar on 72* and Mishra (57*) registering his second Test fifty. The deficit was brought down to 75 runs.
Tale of the Afternoon Session :
The match seemed to be heading for a draw as Tendulkar and Mishra carried on their fighting partnership in the post lunch session. Both batsmen were getting closer to their respective centuries. Amit Mishra, in particular was batting more fluently than Tendulkar but the former was unlucky to miss out on a well deserved maiden Test hundred by 16 runs. Swann provided the much needed breakthrough for his side in the 76th over when his straighter one drifted away to hit the exposed off stump of Amit Mishra (84 from 141 balls with 10 fours) who attempted a forward defence inside the line. That was wicket no.150 for Swann in Tests which ended a superb 144 run-partnership for the 4th wicket. The Mishra-Tendulkar stand consumed 46.1 overs.
Just four balls after Mishra’s exit, India received a double blow when Sachin Tendulkar (91 from 172 balls with 11 fours) dangerously shuffled across on the frontfoot in a flick and missed a Tim Bresnan inswinger to get hit on the pad infront of off. Tendulkar failed to get his 100th International century despite coming so close there.
India was in serious trouble at 262 for 5 when MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina got together. There was a lost expected from the duo especially after an inspiring partnership from Sachin and Mishra. However both perished in quick time to expose India to a defeat. In the 80th over, Suresh Raina finished his match bagging a pair, lasting 13 balls before he failed to pick a middle stump drifter from Swann in a forward defence. Four overs later, Skipper MS Dhoni (3 from 19 balls) played a loose drive away from his body to edge a full delivery from Broad to second slip.
There was no doubt left that India was heading to a 0-4 cleansweep at 269 for 7. The next wicket fell down in the form of RP Singh (0 from 3 balls) in the 84th over who edged Broad on the backfoot to the keeper. Gautam Gambhir battling with a concussion came in at no.9 and with India sinking towards an obvious defeat did the wise thing of throwing his wicket away to take rest back in the pavilion. Gambhir batted out 27 balls making 3 before he came down the track for an inside out cover drive off Swann but only to slice the turning off breeak into the hands of backward point. Last man Sreesanth fell in Swann’s next over dragging a wild slog sweep onto his stumps.
India got bowled out for 283 in 91 overs losing their last six wikcets for the addition of just 21 runs in less than 15 overs! The Man of the Match award went to Ian Bell while the Player of the Series were Stuart Broad (for England) and Rahul Dravid (for India).