India continue their victory march, win series 1-0

Heavy fog did curtail the second Test in Mohali, but that did not stop India from winning their second consecutive Test series win.

updated: December 24, 2008 10:31 IST
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New Delhi:

Heavy fog did curtail the second Test in Mohali, but that did not stop India from winning their second consecutive Test series. With their sensational 6-wicket win in Chennai, India clinched the two-Test series 1-0 against England on Tuesday.

India had beaten Australia 2-0 in the recently concluded four-match Test series. After two back-to-back series win, India have reclaimed second position from South Africa in the ICC Test Championship.

The hosts had taken a 151-runlead after bundling England for 302 runs in their first innings. They declared their final innings for 251/7 and set England a target of 403 runs. With just two sessions left for the play, the target was unachievable and England didn't try anything adventurous. They were 64 for 1 when the last ball of the game was bowled by skipper MS Dhoni.

England lost their opener Alastair Cook as Indian pacer Ishant Sharma dismissed him for 10 runs on the final day of the Mohali Test. Coming round the wicket, Ishant pitched the ball in line that was going outside the off-stump. Cook jabbed it softly and VVS Laxman at second slip took a low catch to see him off.

India, who were leading by 367 runs at lunch, did not declare to let England play two complete session. Their intent was clear that they wanted Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, then playing on 80* and 79* respectively, to get their centuries. But both the left-handers squandered the opportunity.

Gambhir, who made a magnificent 179 runs in the first innings, missed the chance to get another one as he slashed a Graeme Swann-delivery to Ian Bell at gully for 97 runs. He would have got his name in the elite list of Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid as the only Indian batsmen who have scored centuries in each innings of a Test match. But he accumulated 276 runs in the match to become the highest scorer in a Test match against England, surpassing Vinoo Mankad's record of 256 in the two innings at Lord's in 1952. He was aptly chosen the 'Man of the Match'. Zaheer Khan was adjudged 'Man of the series' for his superb bowling.

The pair of Gambhir and Yuvraj resumed India's innings building on the fog-curtailed final day with their overnight score of 134/4. They added 153 runs for the fifth wicket before Yuvraj was caught short of his crease while taking for a single and fell for 86 runs.

During their fifth wicket-stand, the two southpaws played different games. While Gambhir anchored the Indian innings and took 229 balls to get his 97 runs, Yuvraj was his aggressive self and dealt English bowlers in boundaries. He made 86 runs in 93 balls with the help of six 4s and four 6s. After playing a match winning knock of 85* in Chennai, the Punjab batsman slammed his second fifty against England, fifth of his Test career. Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who came after Yuvraj's fall, went back without scoring as Monty Panesar took a simple return catch. Harbhajan Singh remained unbeaten on 5 runs.

Also read:

Match report: 2nd Test, Day 1

Match report: 2nd Test, Day 2

Match report: 2nd Test, Day 3

Match report: 2nd Test, Day 4