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India seal biggest-ever series win

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 10:31 AM IST

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Virat’s Men clinch 4-0 to eclipse Team Azharuddin’s 3-0 victory record against England

Chennai : India pulled the curtains down on England’s winter of discontent in the manner befitting their dominance as the hosts clinched the five-match series 4-0 with an innings and 75-run victory in the fifth and final cricket Test on Tuesday.

Spinner Ravindra Jadeja was the hero of the day as he returned exceptional figures of 7/48 to spell doom for England.

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Jadeja’s effort deserves special mention as he shone on a pitch where there were no demons. However, triple-centurion Karun Nair walked away with the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten 303-run knock that set the tone for the victory.

In the process of winning their ninth match of the year to stretch an unbeaten run to 18, the hosts wrote and rewrote a plethora of records, including notching up their biggest-ever series victory over England.

Their previous best was the 3-0 verdict under Mohammed Azharuddin’s captaincy in 1992-93.

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Having made a sedate start to the day, England made a hash of it after tea as they lost their last six wickets for a mere 15 runs.

England were staring down the barrel at 200 for eight, with Jadeja doing the bulk of damage in an exceptional display of slow bowling on a pitch that was one of the flattest in recent times.

The left-arm spinner, who also pulled off a brilliant catch earlier in the day, triggered the English slide when he lured Moeen Ali into playing a casual shot after the tea break. From 192 for four, the scoreline suddenly read 200 for eight, with plenty of overs left for Indian bowlers to wrap up the tail.

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It soon became 207 for nine as the inevitable dawned on England and the end came when the last line of defence, Jake Ball, was foxed by Jadeja for a three-ball duck.

Celebration erupted in the stands at the M A Chidambaram Stadium, and the Indian players also broke into wild celebrations following the team’s fifth successive Test series win since September last year. The win also made it India’s longest unbeaten run in Test cricket, surpassing the previous best of 17 wins between 198-87.

In front of the plenty of heads totting the stands, the Indian players went on a lap of honour.

A pall of gloom, however, descended on the English camp, while the Indians’ joy knew no bounds. England lost 10 wickets in 48.2 overs, for the addition of 104 runs, after their openers – captain Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings – had added 103.

Jadeja got into the act after lunch as he struck thrice to bring the spring back in India’s steps to leave England at 167 for four at tea.

Jadeja first cut short Cook’s stay at the crease when he was one shy of a half century, followed that with the dismissal of Jennings (54) and then sent back Joe Root (6) to leave England in a spot of bother at 126 for three.

The situation got worse for the visitors when they lost Jonny Bairstow, sent back by a Ishant Sharma, who looked pretty sharp and thereafter, tested Ben Stokes with deliveries that got off the wicket. At tea, first-innings centurion Moeen Ali and Stokes were batting on 32 and 13 respectively, cutting down the deficit to 115 runs with six wickets remaining.

Jadeja, who pulled off a brilliant catch at midwicket to end Bairstow’s brief stay in the middle, had impressive figures of 3/38 before the start of the final session. Moeen and Stokes’ partnership had consumed 12 overs by tea, and had settled English nerves a bit.

Even though the hosts looked threatening, England took solace from the fact that the pitch remained pretty flat and hoped to avoid a 0-4 drubbing even with an set ultra attacking field placements. That was, however, not to be as wickets fell in a heap in the final session.

England 1st innings:

All out: 477

India 1st innings:

Declare: 759-7

England 2nd innings

A Cook c Rahul b Jadeja……………………..49

K Jennings c & b Jadeja………………………54

J Root lbw b Jadeja……………………………..6

M Ali c Ashwin b Jadeja……………………..44

J Bairstow c Jadeja b Sharma………………..1

B Stokes c Nair b Jadeja………………………23

J Buttler not out………………………………….6

L Dawson b Mishra………………………………0

A Rashid c Jadeja b Yadav……………………..2

S Broad c Pujara b Jadeja……………………..1

J Ball c Nair b Jadeja……………………………0

Extras: (b12, lb8, wd1)21

Total: (All out)207

Bowling: I Sharma 10-2-17-1, R Ashwin 25-6-56-0, R Jadeja 25-5-48-7, U Yadav 14-1-36-1, A Mishra 14-4-30-1.

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Published on: Wednesday, December 21, 2016, 07:39 AM IST