Cook heroics in vain as England fold
AHMEDABAD – India have drawn first blood in the Test series with England after wrapping up an emphatic nine-wicket victory on day five in Ahmedabad today.
England had gone into the final day on 340 for 5 in their second innings, full of confidence after captain Alastair Cook and wicketkeeper Matt Prior had steered them into a 10-run lead by batting together throughout the second half of day four.
However Prior and Cook both departed to India’s destroyer-in-chief Pragyan Ojha (4-120) in the opening hour of the final day, prompting a speedy collapse from the tourists – following on after being dismissed for 191 first time around – to 406 all out.
England’s sixth-wicket pair had put on 157 and Prior was on 91 when he tamely offered up a return catch to the left-arm spinner, who also got a delivery to keep low and crash into Cook’s middle stump.
Cook had faced 374 balls for his heroic 176, however his dismissal signalled the end of England’s hopes of saving the match as Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan all folded to leave India needing just 77 to win.
First-innings double-centurion Cheteshwar Pujara then picked up where he left off with an unbeaten knock of 41 to help India, who lost Virender Sehwag to Swann for 25, chase down their meagre target in just 15.3 overs.
The dogged resistance of Prior and Cook was finally brought to an end after a stand of 157, with the England wicketkeeper spooning a return catch to Ojha nine short of his century.
Cook followed just nine runs later when Ojha got a ball to stay low and sneak through his defences. And the end appeared nigh for England as Umesh Yadav held on to a return catch from Broad (3).
Swann attempted to turn the tide with a 28-run stand for the ninth wicket with Bresnan. However Swann’s knock of 17 was brought to an end when he was bowled attempting to reverse sweep Ravichandran Ashwin.
The England innings came to an end when Bresnan was caught by sub fielder Ajinkya Rahane off Zaheer Khan (2-59) for 20.