India’s first win in 28 years at Lord’s
England seems to have forgotten how to win. Having lost to Sri Lanka in all formats of the game, they succumbed to Ishant Sharma’s pace (7 for 74) and gave India a historic 95-run victory in the second test, their first in 28 years at Lord’s. The first test at Trent Bridge, a pitch doctored to drag on for five days, was a draw.
Incidentally, the win came on a wicket that was conducive to pace from Day one and was ideal for English conditions. Yet it was Ishant and co who befriended the devil in the pitch and England, set a target of 319, were bowled out for 223 runs in their second innings, a little over an hour before tea on the final day.
The last time India won a Test at Lord’s, 10 players in the current contingent were not even born. This was also India’s first overseas Test win since 2011. With this, India has taken a 1-0 lead in the five-match series and if the local adage is to be believed, the one who wins at Lord’s has also pocketed the series. 25-year-old Ishant, who can be wayward on most days and had gone wicket less in the first innings, used the short ball well to his advantage. Joe Root (66), Moeen Ali (39), Matt Prior (12), Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad (8) all fell to short-pitched deliveries on the final day. Ishant was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Cook’s team lost six wickets for 50 runs either side of lunch in one of the most embarrassing displays by the country. India, riding high on a fine century by Ajinkya Rahane (103), had scored 295 in the first innings and 342 in the second innings. England had a good score in the first innings but not daunting enough for Indians.
At this very venue, Chetan Sharma — now 48 — had claimed six wickets and Dilip Vengsarkar — now 58 – had hit a sparkling 126 to help Indians win three decades ago.