MUMBAI, Nov 26 (PTI): India’s ploy to prepare a spinning track backfired heavily as a spirited England inflicted a humiliating ten-wicket victory on the clueless hosts in the second cricket Test to level the four-match series 1-1 here today.
Resuming at a precarious 117 for seven after conceding a vital 86-run first innings lead, the Indians were skittled out for a paltry 142 within an hour’s play on the fourth morning, leaving the visitors an easy target of 57 for victory which they achieved without much fuss with more than five sessions to spare.
Only Gautam Gambhir (65) provided a semblance of resistance before being the last man to be dismissed though television replays indicated that he was distinctly unlucky to be ruled out.
Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar was the pick of the English bowlers with figures of 22-3-81-6 for a match haul of 11 wickets while Graeme Swann snapped up the remaining four wickets in a fine exhibition of spin bowling.
The two England openers Alastair Cook (18) and Nick Compton (30) overhauled the target in just 9.4 overs to complete the rout in a match which was dominated by the visitors in conditions which were tailor-made for the home team spinners.
The moment of triumph came through four byes off R Ashwin which triggered off scenes of jubilation in the England dressing room with the players hugging each other and celebrating a remarkable victory.
It was a pathetic display by the Indians who were thoroughly outplayed in their own den. While the spinners were a complete letdown on a track which suited them, the famed batting line up also left much to be desired failing to counter the spin threat of Panesar and Swann.
England, on the other hand, showed remarkable character and resilience to bounce back and square the series 1-1 after suffering a nine-wicket drubbing in the first Test in Ahmedabad. The turnaround was largely possible due to Kevin Pietersen and Cook’s centuries in the first innings and the brilliant bowling efforts of Panesar and Swann.
The two teams will now travel to Kolkata for the third Test which begins from December 5.
India, who were tottering at 117 for 7 last evening against the double spin attack of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, lost their remaining wickets this morning in 11.1 overs and 43 minutes.
With Gautam Gambhir the only top order batsman left to carry on the fight to the rival camp, India stared defeat in the face last evening itself and any hopes of a late turnaround was belied.
Gambhir was last out, declared leg before, off an inside edge for a defiant 65, but with the top batsmen collapsing like nine pins against Panesar and Swann last evening after India batted for the second time in the game, there was little hope of escaping defeat.
It was India’s seventh Test defeat in 23 games, as compared to nine wins, against all comers at this venue, and their third in 7 games against England and second on the trot.
The hosts had previously suffered reverses against their English rivals in 1980 and 2006 - the last time the two met at this ground. Overall, it was India’s 39th defeat, and twelfth at home, in 105 Tests.
Graeme Swann got the initial wicket in his first over itself, after an expensive opening over by Panesar, by dismissing overnight not out batsman Harbhajan Singh.
Singh, who struck a lofted four off Panesar, checked his cut shot to a ball that turned and bounced from the off spinner and offered a tame catch to slip fielder Jonathan Trott to depart for 6 after facing 5 balls.
Panesar, who was hit for two fours in his first over, got rid off no. 10 batsman Zaheer Khan (1) when his sweep shot ballooned up off the top edge for wicket keeper Matt Prior to run a few yards and take it near the square leg position and India had slumped to 131 for 9 in the fifth over of the morning.
Gambhir, with only last man Pragyan Ojha for company, farmed the strike to help the team add 11 more runs before he was last out, leg before to Swann while defending as he was rapped on the back pad.
India 1st Inn : 327
England 1st Inn : 413
India 2nd Inn: G Gambhir lbw b Swann 65, V Sehwag c Swann b Panesar 9, C Pujara c Bairstow b Swann 6, S Tendulkar lbw b Panesar 8, V Kohli c Root b Swann 7, Y Singh c Bairstow b Panesar 8, MS Dhoni c Trott b Panesar 6, R Ashwin c Patel b Panesar 11, H Singh c Trott b Swann 6, Z Khan c Prior b Panesar 1, Pragyan Ojha not out 6. Extras (B-6, LB-3) 9. Total (10 wickets; 44.1 overs) 142. Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-37, 3-52, 4-65, 5-78, 6-92, 7-110, 8-128, 9-131. Bowling: J Anderson 4-1-9-0, M Panesar 22-3-81-6, G Swann 18.1-6-43-4.
England (2nd innings): A Cook not out 18, N Compton not out 30. Extras (B-8, LB-2) 10. Total (for 0 wkts in 9.4 overs) 58. Bowling: R Ashwin 3.4-0-22-0, P Ojha 4-0-16-0, H Singh 2-0-10-0.