Monday 17 December 2012 

Trott And Bell Hand England Historic Series Win

Trott And Bell Hand England Historic Series Win
Trott And Bell Hand England Historic Series Win
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

England 330 & 352-4 dec. (Trott 143) drew with
India 326-9 dec. (Kohli 103, Dhoni 99)
Fourth Test, Nagpur
Scorecard | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4
More: Dhoni quotes | Cook | Audioboo
Report by Chetan Narula in Nagpur

England successfully batted through the final day of the fourth and final Test against India in Nagpur to claim a first Test series win in India since 1985.

Centuries from Warwickshire pair Jonathan Trott (143) and Ian Bell (116 not out) ended India's feint victory hopes as England closed on 352 for four having never looked in much danger.

The pair stretched their fourth-wicket partnership to 208 before Trott was dismissed but there were to be no further breakthroughs for India.

Joe Root hit Ravichandran Ashwin for six early in his innings to underline England's control and he ended unbeaten on 20 when hands were shaken during the final session.

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England resumed their day with Trott and Bell at the crease, with the overnight score at 161 for three. Basically the equation was very simple. India needed quick wickets, even more so, they needed England to collapse only for the second time in the series.

Unlike the fourth morning they did not waste any time and got the new ball as soon as it was available. Ishant Sharma started his new spell and it was the only big hope for the hosts to affect a turnaround on a lifeless pitch.

Sadly for them, it didn’t work as Trott and Bell negotiated the first hour of play with ease. India kept trying, kept searching for a break through even as lunch came close. But the two batsmen denied them and even the run-rate started creeping up.

It became clear that the pitch had in fact improved from the first four days and batting had become a tad easier. In effect that part killed the match for England were never ever going to risk a declaration.

And so, they batted on, with Bell bringing up his first half-century of the series before lunch. More importantly, Trott got to his hundred as well, as they went into the break at 240 for three, with a lead of 244 runs.

After that, even the hosts did not bother. They did come out to bowl but could only toil hard against two well set batsmen. Dhoni was still rotating his bowlers around, but there wasn’t any point really.

Bell and Trott put up 208 runs for the fourth wicket and dashed any hopes that the Indian fans might have had of a turnaround. Trott was finally out in the 135th over of the innings, with Ashwin having him caught at leg slip. He scored 143 runs off 310 balls, with 18 fours.

Bell though carried on and got to his hundred as well, finishing unbeaten on 116 off 306 balls, with sixteen fours and one six. At the other end was Joe Root, batting on 20 off 56 balls, with one four and one six, when the match was called off.

England finished on 352 for four, taking home the series in emphatic fashion by a margin of two games to one.

For India, Ashwin (2-99), Pragyan Ojha (1-70) and Ravindra Jadeja (1-59) were the wicket-takers.

Select quotes from the final day of the Test series:

Alastair Cook on his team’s fabulous win: "We never stopped believing in ourselves and we knew we had the preparation to go out there and do well. After the defeat in Ahmedabad, we really had to pick ourselves up and we did that in Mumbai on a good pitch.

"Then we carried it forward to Kolkata and winning the series here is just incredible. When we looked at the pitch, we did not think it was a result pitch.

"Winning a series in India is just fantastic, more so as a captain on his first tour. It ranks right up there with the Ashes win, for we won in Australia after a long time as well. In terms of pressure an Indian tour is equal to playing away in Australia.’

Dhoni on where India fell short: "James Anderson was the big difference between the two sides. He brought so much more to their bowling attack and lifted them up. The turning point came in Kolkata when we lost six or seven wickets in one session and just couldn’t stop the tide.

"It is a disappointing loss, but nothing compares to the disappointment of the 2007 ODI World Cup in West Indies. We have to give chances to youngsters, unless we do that, we won’t know if they are any good. And we have to stop looking for the next Dravid, VVS or Sachin, because we cannot replace them. We have to allow youngsters to come in and become their own players."

Dhoni on Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement plans: "No he hasn’t told me anything." On whether we will see him play again, he said: "I hope so."

© Cricket World 2012

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