England end 28-year wait

2012-12-18 00:00

NAGPUR — England secured their first series win in India in 28 years, after drawing the fourth and final Test in Nagpur yesterday, ending the series 2-1.

The players shook hands 50 minutes after tea on the final day, with the hosts on 352 for four — a lead of 525 — as a draw was on the cards already before lunch.

Shortly before the close, Ian Bell reached a satisfying 17th Test century, and he was not out on 116 at the end. With him was Joe Root, who was on 20.

With England starting the day on 161 for three, the hosts got the consolation wicket of centurion Jonathan Trott for 143 — his ninth Test ton — in the middle session, but even that moment brought them little joy.

It was Ravichandran Ashwin who lured Trott into playing away from his body and Virat Kohli snaffled a sharp chance at backward short leg, ending a partnership that spanned two days for 208 runs.

Trott faced 310 balls and found the boundary 18 times.

Ashwin finished with figures of­ ­2-99 off his 38 overs.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni conceded that his team struggled in the batting department.

“Their spinners were right on the mark; James Anderson was very good, testing the batsmen.

“As the game progressed there wasn’t much for the spinners or fast bowlers. Pujara’s batting was a positive,” the captain said.

Man of the match James Anderson said he wanted to show seamers had a job to do as well as most people thought the spinners would get all the wickets. “Reverse swing played a key part and we executed our plans well.

“The beauty of bowling short spells means you can give it your all and then get a rest.

“It’s been amazing, we’ve been impressed with the crowds and enjoyed embracing the culture. It really gives you a lift to hear all the people cheering at the end of the day,” he said.

England captain and man of the series Alastair Cook was full of praise for his team.

“Today, it was a flat wicket to bat on, but Trotty and Belly did it so calmly. We were quite surprised with the pitch at the start, how low and slow it was, but it got better.

“We knew if we didn’t give away any soft dismissals, it would be hard to bowl us out and I’m proud the lads fronted up.

“After the heavy defeat in Ahmedabad, it’s been a fantastic response.

“In my first series as captain, I couldn’t have asked for more, it’s a very proud moment.

“Our bowlers have been brilliant and all the batsman contributed.

“It’s always nice when it goes well, I can’t praise the team, the squad enough, the backroom staff but also the fans, the Barmy Army and the India supporters as well.”

The tour now moves into the shorter formats, starting with two Twenty20. The first T20 will be in Pune on Thurday.

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