England vs India 4th Test Day 3: Moeen delivers knockout blow to India to hand England 2-1 lead

Ali was England's hero once again

Ali was England’s hero once again

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

England all-rounder Moeen Ali took four key wickets to deliver the knockout blow to India and hand his side a 2-1 lead in the series.

India’s batsmen simply had no answer to Ali’s off-spin as they crumbled in the evening session to lose the match by an innings and 54 runs.

Starting out the day on 237/6, England batsman Joe Root and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler converted their 67-run partnership into a 134-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Root was caught behind to finally end Pankaj Singh’s desperate search for his first Test wicket.

Root’s fantastic knock of 77 came off 161 balls and included seven boundaries.

Root hit seven boundaries during his knock of 77

Root hit seven boundaries during his knock of 77

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Buttler ended up making 70 off 130 deliveries, which included 10 boundaries, before he was caught by Cheteshwar Pujara at mid-off off the bowling of Singh.

Buttler scored his second consecutive half-century

Buttler scored his second consecutive half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Stuart Broad made a quickfire 12 before he received a brute of a bouncer from Varun Aaron which snuck through the visor and grill and struck him flush on the bridge of the nose. Broad, who was a little disoriented, was helped off the field and soon went to hospital for an x-ray.

Broad was rushed to hospital after he was hit on the nose by a bouncer from Aaron

Broad was rushed to hospital after he was hit on the nose by a bouncer from Aaron

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

James Anderson mustered nine runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.

With Broad still at hospital and clearly in no condition to bat, England were bowled out for 367, which gave them a healthy lead of 215.

Aaron and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up three wickets apiece, while Singh snapped up two and Jadeja chipped in with one.

Trailing by 215, India got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Murali Vijay was given out lbw off the bowling of Chris Woakes for 18.

Gautam Gambhir also made 18 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Anderson.

Following Gambhir’s dismissal, it was the Moeen Ali show as he dismissed Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Jadeja and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in quick succession.

Virat Kohli was the other batsman dismissed during India’s unbelievable collapse when he was caught by Ian Bell at second slip off the bowling of Anderson for seven runs.

Kumar scored 10 runs before he was run out by Ali.

Aaron accumulated nine runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Chris Jordan.

Jordan finished India off the very next ball when he clean bowled Singh for a golden duck.

Ravichandran Ashwin was left stranded on 46, which came off 56 balls and included five boundaries and a six.

Ali was easily the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Anderson and Jordan took two wickets each and Woakes claimed one as India were bowled out for a dismal 161.

Dhoni was disgusted with his team’s performance, and said: “I think even in the first innings we weren’t up to the mark in the batting department. I feel so far in the series our batting had not really clicked. We need to get better. It’s a difficult one to know what’s gone wrong. A few of them are going through a lean patch. Outside India, this group has gone well until here. The wickets have been good for batting but we haven’t applied ourselves. Consistently we are exposing Pujara to facing the new ball. Our openers are not getting partnerships. [In terms of] Virat, it’s something he has to go through. I personally feel he is middling the ball but you do go through these patches.”

England skipper Alastair Cook was ecstatic to have taken a 2-1 lead in the series, and said: “You don’t often get nine wickets in a session. The buzz was fantastic. We didn’t think we’d get it done but it’s great to do it today. Jimmy hasn’t been very well, so for him to bowl like he did, and not having Stuart, was a great effort. The work Moeen is doing, I’ve never seen a bloke learn as much in such a short space of time. When the wicket has had something in it, he’s been fantastic. It was outstanding bowling on the first morning and we really got ahead of the game.”

Broad was named Man of the Match for his six-wicket haul in the first innings, but was not present during the post-match presentation ceremony.

 

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