India vs England

Commentary

Last Updated: December 17, 2012 9:54am

  • Fourth Test drawn - England win series 2-1

    Don't let the vaguely farcical conclusion to this match cloud what matters. This is a sensational performance from England. After a heavy defeat in the first Test in Ahmedabad, England hit back in Mumbai and Kolkata with two of the very best Test performances they have ever produced on the sub-continent. Alastair Cook was one month old when England last won a Test series in India. No touring side has won here since a handy Australian side did so in 2004. A sensational and utterly unexpected start to Cook's reign as full-time Test skipper.

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    Over 154 - England 352/4 (Bell 116, Root 20)

    Genuinely filthy stuff from Gambhir here. A high full-toss followed by a half-tracker before another high full-toss. All are knocked away carefully for singles. Red-inkers on the minds. A delay after the fifth ball just to make sure they don't have to go through the unpleasantness of another over, and a Bell forward defensive concludes proceedings. England have won the series 2-1. Superb performance.

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    Over 153 - England 349/4 (Bell 115, Root 18)

    Bell freeing up now in the closing moments of this match. Why not? Take these free, easy runs. Two drives, through extra-cover and mid-off, bring boundaries before the last ball of the over is nurdled past leg slip to bring four more. Four more minutes until England can declare and celebrate series victory.

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    Over 152 - England 337/4 (Bell 103, Root 18)

    This is more like it. With Bell's hundred in the books, on come the comedy bowlers. Gautam Gambhir bowls an over of... well it says leg-breaks here. He bowls an over. Let's just leave it at that.

  • Over 151 - England 336/4 (Bell 102, Root 18)

    Four dot balls to keep the nerves jangling before Ashwin stuffs a ball down the legside to give Bell an easy put-away for his century. Bell completes three runs as the ball runs away towards the fine-leg boundary and can at last celebrate his 17th Test hundred. The really hard work was done in the first 90 minutes of the innings yesterday evening. Today has been about concentration, focus, and collecting your reward. Bell - and Trott before him - have certainly done that. Three more overs at a guess before we can all go back to bed.

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    Over 150 - England 333/4 (Bell 99, Root 18)

    Bell works to leg for a single to reach 99 before Root adjust smartly to dab the ball wide of slip for two runs. Got himself a bit squared up there and had to make amends with his hands. Did so nicely.

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    Over 149 - England 330/4 (Bell 98, Root 16)

    Nimble footwork from Bell, jumping onto the back foot and giving himself room to place a short ball from Ashwin past cover for two runs. Almost joins Dhoni in the 'run out in the 90s club' but gets home after taking a terrible single to square-leg. Well out with a direct hit, but the throw is wide. With no milestone to worry about and first-innings runs in the book, Root batting without a care in the world as he reverse-sweeps superbly past short third-man for four. Played that shot in the first innings as well, but absolutely nails this one.

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    Over 148 - England 323/4 (Bell 95, Root 12)

    Bell eases Jadeja through the covers off the back foot for three runs to move to 95. Too quickly, Belly, too quickly. You're going to leave us with five even more pointless overs to watch at this rate.

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    Over 147 - England 320/4 (Bell 92, Root 12)

    Bell into the 90s with a clip through square-leg for two and moves within eight runs of a century by adding a single. Minimum seven overs remaining.

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    Over 146 - England 316/4 (Bell 89, Root 11)

    Another Jadeja maiden. Eight overs for Bell to get 11 runs if Cook's feeling ruthless...

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    Over 145 - England 316/4 (Bell 89, Root 11)

    Eleven runs needed for Bell. Imagine if he's 99 not out when England can bring the curtain down on the game. What does Cook do?

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    Over 144 - England 315/4 (Bell 88, Root 11)

    India getting through their overs now, looking to get the remaining total down to 15 for the last over; still 10 to go as the over-rate plummeted after the first hour of the day.

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    Over 143 - England 315/4 (Bell 88, Root 11)

    Two singles from the over. Time for Dhoni to liven things up a bit. Bring on a joke bowler. In all seriousness, I'm not sure why Kohli hasn't bowled a single over of his filthy medium-pace-off-the-wrong-foot dobbers. Might just hoodwink someone. Couldn't do any harm.

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    Over 142 - England 313/4 (Bell 87, Root 10)

    Root opens the face to guide the ball behind point and collect an easy two runs. Test runs won't all be this straightforward, young Joe.

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    Over 141 - England 311/4 (Broad 87, Root 8)

    Just a single from Ashwin's first post-tea over, worked to leg by Root.

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    Over 140 - England 310/4 (Bell 87, Root 7)

    A maiden for Jadeja after tea.

  • Tea

    Hurrah for Ian Bell, who is making sure his century takes us right up to the point where this game can be put out of its misery. At least that way there's something, however trifling, to occupy us. He needs 13 runs, and has plenty enough talent to make sure that takes 50 minutes after the break. Test cricket is rarely worse than when a game is destined for an inevitable draw, but let's not let ennui detract from England's achievement here. To win a series in India is some feat; to do it from one Test down is truly sensational.

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    Over 139 - England 310/4 (Bell 87, Root 7)

    Another maiden over, and that will be tea.

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    Over 138 - England 310/4 (Bell 87, Root 7)

    Even Bell's desire to reach a hundred cannot overcome Jadeja's powerful ability to bowl maiden overs of non-spinning spin. I don't know the science of it, but it must be down to the hair in some way.

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    Over 137 - England 310/4 (Bell 87, Root 7)

    Easy game, this Test cricket. Sit with the pads on for 80 overs watching others bat, stride out with a cap on, slog-sweep the ball over the midwicket ropes for six. Root moves ahead of Trott in the list of Test-match six-hitters.

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Match Details

Date
13th - 17th Dec 2012
Toss
England won the toss and elected to bat.
Venue
Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium
Umpires
H D P K Dharmasena and R J Tucker

england BATTING CARD

Batsman R
Cook c Dhoni b Ashwin 13
Compton lbw b Ojha 34
Trott c Kohli b Ashwin 143
Pietersen b Jadeja 6
Bell not out 116
Root not out 20
Extras 6nb, 8b, 6lb 20
Total Declared, 154.0 Overs 352 - 4
Full Batting Card

india BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Sharma 15 3 42 0
Ojha 40 14 70 1
Ashwin 38 11 99 2
Chawla 26 6 64 0
Jadeja 33 17 59 1
Gambhir 2 0 4 0
Full Bowling Card