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Eng thrash India

If a Test match is gruelling, what would one call a five-match Test series then? Ask the Indians and they would say soul-crushing and this was epitomised on day three of the fifth and the final Test at the Oval where they conceded 101 runs in 11.3 overs and then went on to lose all ten wickets in their second innings on the same track for just 94 runs plunging to an innings and 244-run loss, thus conceding the series 3-1 to England.

In the first innings, MS Dhoni had helped his team from 28 for 4 to 152, but in the second there was no such heroics from the skipper as the team were all out in just 29.2 overs. Only four bowlers were used by England and Chris Jordan returned with best figures of 4 for 18. 

Starting the day with a lead of 237 runs and three wickets in hand, England extend their lead rather quickly courtesy Joe Root (149*) and Stuart Broad (37) with the bowlers spraying the ball as wayward as possible and bowling with zero plan of action. Ishant Sharma’s two wickets though helped India limit the damage to 338, but for a team that had failed to go past the 200-run mark the last four times in the series it was a daunting task.

The reply from the Indians was as meek as possible with the openers Murali Vijay (2) and Gautam Gambhir (3) departing before lunch. A lengthy rain interruption did not help India at all and after lunch it was a massacre with the hosts falling like nine pins. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli hung around for 40 balls scoring 21 runs between them – the longest association in the innings. The wicket of Pujara (11), caught behind by an absolute ripper from James Anderson that just moved away after pitching, opened the flood gates and the procession started.

England could do nothing wrong in pursuit of their first series victory in over an year and Gary Ballance took a stunning catch at third slip to dismiss Rahane for 4. The four-pronged England pace attack seemed to have smelled blood and they went for the kill. Virat Kohli departed three overs later again edging it to the slip cordon and after that, one bit the dust after another and two more when down in a puff with India getting bowled out for 94 to register the third worst defeat in their Test history. 

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