Moeen Ali spins England to an unassailable 3-1 lead
This match is a testament to the fact that virtues like resolve and grit are still intact in the game. It was the undying spirit of the English batsmen in both the innings that helped them seal the match by 60 runs.
ENG - 246, 271
IND - 273, 184 (69.4 Overs)
England won by 60 runs
Player Of The Match: Moeen Ali
The series goes to England! ??????????????— ICC (@ICC) September 2, 2018
A thrilling Southampton Test comes to an end with India bowled out for 184, England winning by 60 runs to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.
What was your highlight of the match?#ENGvIND scorecard ?? https://t.co/VUru4XV87u pic.twitter.com/ebn4I2O9Jn
It did not take long for the English innings to bundle out. Stuart Broad nicked one off Mohammed Shami to keeper Rishabh Pant. Sam Curran set out on a suicidal double as he was run out by a fair distance. England set India a target of 245 which would certainly take some doing.
The way Indian opener KL Rahul was dismissed by Stuart Broad did not bode well for the visitors. The ball hardly took off as it took the bottom edge of Rahul's bat and cannoned into the stumps.
The centurion of the first innings, Cheteshwar Pujara could not pull off anything special this time around as he was wrapped on the pads in front of the wickets. Shikhar Dhawan also nicked off soon.
But, it was the hundred run partnership between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane which gave India some hope. However, it was always evident that once either of them got out, it would be a tough task for Kohli & Co.
The invariable bounce of the pitch had also come to the fore and plenty of rough was available outside the right hander's off stump for Moeen Ali to exploit. Just at the stroke of Tea, Virat Kohli gloved to Alastair Cook at forward short leg and the game was won and lost there itself.
Moeen soon dismissed Ajinkya Rahane after he completed his half century. The following batsmen neither had enough skill nor the temperament to survive under the constant pressure from the English bowlers. Ravichandran Ashwin scored a few at the end but his team's fate had already been sealed by then. No other Indian batsman could make an impact as the team folded up for 184.
Moeen Ali was the pick of the bowlers in the second innings yet again. He picked four wickets to break the back of the Indian middle order. Anderson and Stokes bagged two each.
With this win, England have now taken an unassailable lead of 3-1 in the series. All being said, the series has showcased attritional Test cricket and has been fun to watch. See you at the Oval then!
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