England tour of India - Cricket: Kumble spins India to victory over England

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2001, 20:03 [IST]
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Mohali: Anil Kumble exposed England's batting limitations against spinto bowl India to a comfortable 10-wicket victory in the first cricketTest in Mohali on Thursday.The leg spinner finished with six for 81 as England crashed to 235 inits second innings to lose the opening match of a three-Test series withmore than a day to spare.Graham Thorpe was the best batsman against spin, scoring a defiant 62 tohelp England, trailing by 231 runs, avoid the humiliation of an inningsdefeat.The left-hander struck eight fours in his 120-ball knock before givingan easy return catch to Kumble. He, however, received no support fromthe other end as his teammates failed to read the leg spinner.Indian debutant Iqbal Siddiqui, who batted at number 10 in the firstinnings, opened the batting this time to score the five runs requiredfor victory off two balls.Man-of-the-match Kumble was well supported by debutant seamer TinuYohannan (two for 56) and off spinner Harbhajan Singh (two for 59) on aday when the England batsmen looked uncomfortable against both pace andspin.The 31-year-old Kumble never allowed the batsmen to settle down with hisprobing line and length and finished with his 17th haul of five or morewickets in a Test innings.The initial damage was done by Yohannan, who rocked the top order whenhe removed openers Mark Butcher (18) and Marcus Trescothick (46) in hislively opening spell in the morning session.Kumble then dismissed skipper Nasser Hussain (12), Mark Ramprakash (28)and Andrew Flintoff (4) to remind England that all is not well with itsbatting against a high-quality spin.Harbhajan, who had wrecked England with a five-wicket haul in the firstinnings, also chipped in with the wickets of Craig White and JamesFoster.England looked for long-innings batsmen to save the game after concedinga big lead, but found none as Trescothick, Butcher and Hussain showedpoor shot selection.India also capitalised on the chances that came its way to put pressureon the tourists. Substitute Jacob Martin and Siddiqui brought offsplendid diving catches in the deep to account for Butcher andTrescothick.In contrast, England had missed four catches and one stumping in thefirst innings to allow its rivals to gain a sizeable advantage. Thetourists were comfortably placed at 68 for no loss before losing threebig wickets in the space of 19 runs.Yohannan provided the breakthrough when he broke the opening-wicketstand between Trescothick and Butcher in the day's ninth over after thetourists had resumed at 34 for no loss.Butcher was the first to be dismissed. He failed to control a pull-shotand was caught by Martin at deep square-leg. Trescothick also fellplaying one shot too many, pulling Yohannan to Siddiqui after smashingnine boundaries in his 95-ball knock. He added 30 to his overnight scorein the first session, which produced 93 runs in 26 overs.England suffered a big blow when Hussain inside-edged a Kumble deliveryon to his stumps after contributing just 12. Thorpe and Ramprakash thenput on 72 for the fourth wicket, but their efforts were not enough tolift England out of trouble.Kumble surprised Ramprakash with a faster one to trap him leg before inthe post lunch session and then continued to keep pressure on theremaining batsmen.

Copyright AFP 2001

Scorecard of Test 1
England 127 for three, 104 runs behind
England's tour of India

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