England beats India in 4th test, leads series 2-1
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — England ripped through India’s fragile batting lineup for the second time in three days to win the fourth test by an innings and 54 runs on Saturday, earning a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Staring at a 215-run deficit from the first innings, the Indians mustered just 161 in less than four hours as part-time offspinner Moeen Ali sparked a collapse from 53-2 to 66-6 to finish with figures of 4-39.
Chris Jordan clinched victory by claiming the final two wickets in two balls, ensuring the bad weather forecast for Manchester for Sunday and Monday would not be a factor.
The home attack prospered even without paceman Stuart Broad, who retired hurt toward the end of England’s first innings of 367 — after edging Varun Aaron’s quick delivery between the grille and peak of his helmet and into his face while going for his third straight six.
Broad looked groggy as he crouched down, with the ball still lodged in his visor. He was led off the pitch with blood pouring from his nose, and needed stitches.
“I think he has broken his nose,” said England captain Alastair Cook, who added that Broad had been taken to the hospital. “He had a nasty blow but I think he’ll be all right.”
England posted an update on Broad’s condition later Saturday. It said X-rays confirmed a fractured nose but added that Broad is still likely to be available for the fifth test starting Friday at The Oval.
Resuming on 237-6, overnight pair Joe Root (77) and Jos Buttler (70) pushed their seventh-wicket partnership to 134 in the morning session, taking even the outside possibility of a victory away from India.
Some lusty blows from the tail lifted the lead above 200 — Broad (12) didn’t reappear — but England had less than two sessions to wrap up the win before the arrival of stormy weather forecast for Sunday.
Simply surviving until stumps was the order of the day for India but after reaching tea at 33-1, the batsmen disintegrated in the face of some fine spin bowling by Ali, who found pace and bounce on a good Old Trafford wicket.
The last nine wickets fell in 22 overs and a little over two hours, even with Broad absent and James Anderson feeling ill and only bowling nine overs.
“We knew we had to have a big effort in that three hours,” said Cook, whose position was under threat when India was 1-0 up after two tests of the series.
On Ali, an allrounder playing in just his sixth test, Cook added: “I have never seen a bloke work so hard and make such an improvement in a short space of time.”
India was bowled out for 152 in the first innings after some brilliant swing bowling by Broad and Anderson. The tourists’ two innings lasted a total of 89.4 overs.
“The batting department is definitely something we will have to improve in the fifth test,” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. “Maybe a few of them are going through a lean patch all together.”
When Virat Kohli edged Anderson to second slip to be out for 7, leaving the batsman’s average for the series at just 13.5, India had lost four wickets for just eight runs in 23 balls and was reeling on 61-5.
Only Ravichandran Ashwin with 46 not out offered any real resistance in the lower order.
Earlier, Root passed 50 for the fourth time in six innings this series and had added 29 runs to his overnight 48 before gloving a legside delivery by Pankaj Singh to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
It was Singh’s first test wicket and he then removed the dangerous Buttler, who resumed on 22 and had settled into an attacking groove by the time he drove a shot straight to Cheteshwar Pujara at mid-off.
That brought Broad to the crease and, in the first over after lunch, he hooked Aaron for successive sixes and attempted a third in a row from a delivery timed at 88.1 mph (141.8 kph). Broad was late onto it, edging it into his own face through the visor.
England didn’t take any risks on one of its two premier fast bowlers, keeping him in the dressing room for more treatment.
Ali, and some dreadful shot-making from the Indians, ensured Broad wouldn’t be required.