Third Test: Nervy England chase down 41 to move 2-1 ahead

Last Updated: 09/12/12 2:51pm

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England have opened up a 2-1 series lead after speeding to a seven-wicket victory over India on day five of the third Test at Eden Gardens.

India's second-innings resistance lasted just 10 further deliveries on the final day as Pragyan Ojha was bowled by James Anderson (3-38) in the second over of the morning to set England a victory target of just 41.

The target looked straightforward, however England gave India a sniff of a miraculous turnaround when crashing to 8-3 inside the opening five overs.

Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen all departed to spin in quick succession, however Ian Bell (28no) and Nick Compton (9no) saw England to their first Test win at the famous Kolkata venue since 1977.


Ashwin's batting heroics the previous evening had delayed England's celebrations, but Cook and his side had to wait just seven minutes before taking the final India wicket on day five.

After Ashwin had taken Steven Finn for two boundaries in the opening over, Ojha failed to see his partner through to a second Test century when Anderson breached his defences and grazed off stump - the bail belatedly falling off.

Chasing a meagre total, captain Cook was eager to see his side through to victory quickly, however he paid the price just five balls in when walking past a wide Ashwin delivery and looking back to see Mahendra Singh Dhoni whip off the bails.

Trott made just three before falling lbw to Ojha and nerves on the away balcony began to jangle when Pietersen (0) edged Ashwin through to Dhoni the following over to leave England tottering on 8-3.

Bell quickly eased any fears of a spectacular collapse, though, finding the boundary on five occasions to help put England 2-1 ahead with one Test, in Nagpur, remaining.

For India, it was a first defeat since the last millennium at Eden Gardens, and England will become the first tourists since 2004 to win a Test series here if they can at least draw the last match in Nagpur.

His dismissal left partner Ravi Ashwin stranded on 91 not out at the other end.

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