India thump woeful England by nine wickets

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 19, 2012 09:59 hrs

Ahmedabad: India broke through the stubborn England resistance with a morning burst of five wickets before surging to a comprehensive nine-wicket victory in the opening cricket Test for a 1-0 lead in the four-match series here today.


Needing 77 runs to record their first win at this venue in seven years on a crumbling and dusty pitch, India achieved the target when they made 80 for one in 16.3 overs after lunch with more than half a day to spare.

Openers Virender Sehwag (25) and Cheteshwar Pujara (41 not out), who scored a double hundred in the huge first innings total of 521 for 8 declared, polished off the major part of the target by adding 57 runs in only 9.5 overs.

Earlier, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha prised open the victory door for the hosts when he broke through England's resolute batting by packing off overnight batsmen Matt Prior (91) and Alastair Cook (176) in 12 balls to virtually bring the visitors to their knees.

The two had kept England afloat yesterday with a determined partnership which had helped the visitors avoid an innings defeat and had raised their hopes of even saving the game. The pair remained unconquered last evening with the visitors on 340 for five, an overall lead of 10 runs.

Ojha's two for 18 burst in 11 overs was complemented by Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Zaheer Khan who grabbed a wicket each as England slumped from 356 for five to 406 all out in just over 16 overs and in 113 minutes of play this morning.

Ojha, who grabbed 4 for 120 in the second innings to add to his superb haul of 5 for 45 in the first, emerged as the most successful bowler from the game.

Pujara, who made an unbeaten 206 in the first essay and opened the innings in place of a bereaved Gautam Gambhir, was the most successful batsman for India.

In the second innings, Pujara and Virat Kohli (14 not out) steered Indian home without being separated.

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