India slide 2-1 with 7 wicket loss at Kolkata
England wrapped up the third Test against India at Kolkata by 7 wickets on Sunday, going 2-1 up in the series.
England had earlier finished Day 3 strongly, nearly doubling their lead in the third session and tightening their grip on the game.
India’s bowlers gave the team hope on the morning of the fourth day, bowling England out for 523 after they had begun the day on 509/6, restricting the lead to 207. Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag added to the hope, putting on 86/0 before Lunch as India tried to save the game.
Sehwag (49) however was bowled off the first ball after Lunch, sparking a collapse which saw India slide to 122/6 in the next 18 overs. Virat Kohli (20) and R Ashwin took the team to Tea at 145/6 but Kohli fell to a loose drive early in the third session. Ishant Sharma dug in for more than hour to score 10 runs in a 38 run 9th wicket partnership with Ashwin before he was bowled by Monty Panesar, leaving India at 197/9.
Ashwin displayed the discipline that the top order lacked to score his third Test fifty and help India avoid an innings defeat. He was on 83* at Stumps on Day 4 with India on 239/9, 32 runs ahead of England. Only 7 runs were added to the total on Day 5 before James Anderson bowled Pragyan Ojha, setting England a target of 41 to win.
An impatient Alastair Cook charged at Ashwin in the first over to be stumped, Jonathan Trott was caught plumb LBW by Ojha before Ashwin returned to have Kevin Pietersen caught behind, reducing England to 8/3 in 4.2 overs. Ian Bell settled frayed nerves with his run a ball 28, taking his team to 41/3 to clinch a famous Test victory.
This is the first time India have lost back to back Tests at home since defeats at Mumbai and Bangalore against South Africa in 2000. This is the first time England have won consecutive Tests in India since 1975. When India begin the fourth and final Test at Nagpur on December 13th, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will hope it doesn’t turn into England’s first series win in India since 1984-85.