Mumbai: England bounced back from their first Test loss at Ahmedabad against India to win the second match on the fourth day by 10 wickets to level the series 1-1 at the Wankhede Stadium here yesterday.
Resuming the day at 117/7, India could only hold out for 11.1 overs and manage 25 more runs before being bowled out for 142, giving England a target of mere 57 runs.
Gautam Gambhir, who held the innings together Sunday, tried holding it out but ran out of partners.
Harbhajan Singh (6) departed in the second over of the day while Zaheer Khan was caught behind on the bowling of Monty Panesar, who scalped his sixth wicket in the innings to end with his best career match figures of 11/210.
Right-arm off spinner Graeme Swann ended the Indian innings when he caught Gambhir plumb in front of the stumps for 65, clinching his fourth wicket of the innings and eighth of the match.
England completed the formalities at run-a-ball as they chased down the target with ease.
Playing only his second Test, Nick Compton (30 not out) charged the Indian spinners hitting four boundaries and one six while skipper Alistair Cook remained unbeaten at 18 as the visitors accomplished their mission 45 minutes before lunch.
England’s Kevin Pietersen was declared the Man-of-the-Match for his splendid 186 in the first innings which gave the visitors the all important lead of 86 runs.
Meanwhile, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised Panesar after the England spinner’s performance in the 10-wicket win in the second Test in Mumbai.
Panesar claimed match figures of 11-210 as the tourists levelled the four-match series 1-1.
“None of the other bowlers troubled the batsmen in the way that Monty did,” said Dhoni.
“All the other bowlers got turn and bounce, but the pace Monty was bowling at made it so much more difficult.”
Dhoni also held Panesar up as an example to his own trio of spin bowlers, who were punished as England batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook both made centuries.
“We could have made them drive more than we did,” said the skipper. “If you bowl too short on a wicket that has extra bounce you give the batsman more time.
“I wish we could have bowled fuller because Pietersen and Cook played really well off the back foot.”
England’s win came after a nine-wicket defeat in the first Test on a slow, turning wicket in Ahmedabad. The pitch in Mumbai offered even more assistance for the slow bowlers and, even though England spin pair Panesar and Graeme Swann shared 19 wickets, Dhoni insisted the hosts were right to tailor conditions to suit their strengths.
“It was a typical subcontintenal wicket,” said Dhoni.
“What’s the point of playing on flat wickets, trying to win the toss then batting for three or four days?
“You want to face challenges in Test cricket and these are the sort of wickets to push you towards that. All of the wickets should be like this,” he said after the defeat.
England and India will face each other at the iconic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata that starts in eight days time on December 5. AGENCIES