Mohali draw hands India series victory

Published: Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 16:42 [IST]
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India takes series after a dull draw

Mohali: The final Test match between India and England ended in a drull draw after the final day"s play was over with England batting at 64/1 after being set a target of 403 runs by the home team.

The lone wicket to fall was that of Alastair Cook (10) who was dismissed by Ishant Sharma.

Resuming on overnight 134 for four, India declared at 251 for seven wickets in the post-lunch session, a total they owed to the 153-run stand between Gautam Gambhir (97) and Yuvraj Singh (86).

Yuvraj Singh was the victim of the third run-out of the innings as he was done in at 86 runs. This was followed by a placid caught and bowled by Monty Panesar to send MS Dhoni packing for a duck.

India had earlier resumed the final morning 285 runs ahead on 134 for four and captain MS Dhoni finally called a halt to the innings when opener Gautam Gambhir fell three runs short of claiming his second century in the match.

Gambhir fell in the 10th over after lunch, clipping off-spinner Graeme Swann to backward point, before Dhoni signalled the declaration on 251 for seven.

India knew their only hope of forcing victory and securing a 2-0 series triumph was to score quick runs to give themselves time to bowl England out on the final afternoon.

That plan was undermined from the start with an hour and a half wiped off the day's play by early morning fog, although Yuvraj Singh attempted to make up for lost time with another exhibition of attacking strokeplay.

Yuvraj, who famously hit six sixes in an over against Stuart Broad during last year's Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, resumed unbeaten on 39 then quickly made his intentions clear by accelerating past opener Gambhir to reach his half-century in just 57 balls.

But after reaching that landmark Yuvraj really let loose, flicking James Anderson from outside off-stump over mid-wicket for his first six of the day and he followed that by hitting successive sixes off Broad.

Gambhir, unbeaten on 44 overnight after 50 overs at the crease, also broke out of his defensive shell after bringing up his half-century, advancing down the wicket to hit Anderson over extra cover for four.

He also clipped Broad for a boundary through mid-wicket to finish unbeaten on 80 at lunch while Yuvraj had progressed to 79 off 80 balls as India added 82 in 13 overs before the first break.

Their 153-run partnership was ended five overs after lunch when left-arm spinner Monty Panesar was called into the attack and he caused the breakthrough with his fifth ball.

Yuvraj had progressed to 86 off 93 balls, which included six fours and four sixes, when he pushed to square leg and set off for a single only to be sent back when Ian Bell produced a diving stop and his direct throw at the stumps ended his innings.

India captain Dhoni fell in Panesar's next over, offering a simple return catch, and the innings finally came to an end when Gambhir gave a diving catch to Bell at point after over six hours at the crease.

Goutam Gambhir was declared man of the match for his stupendous batting performance. Zaheer Khan was declared man of the series in the tournament.


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