Moeen Ali (center) took his maiden Test five-wicket haul © Getty Images
Moeen Ali (center) took his maiden Test five-wicket haul © Getty Images

By Shiamak Unwalla

Jul 31, 2014

India lost to England by 266 runs in the very first session of Day Five of the third Test at Southampton, after getting bowled out for 178. Moeen Ali finished with outstanding figures of six for 67, as the visitors were unable to deal with his probing off-breaks. India were tottering at 112 for four at the start of the day, needing 333 runs to win with just six wickets in hand. Overnight batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma had a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, but James Anderson had other plans.

Rohit was the first man to be dismissed, snapped up by an unstoppable James Anderson, who induced an outside edge from the batsman. Jos Buttler finished the proceedings with an easy catch as India stumbled further. MS Dhoni was the new batsman in, but showed none of his first innings solidity. Anderson induced an outside edge that went for four, and followed up with a very similar delivery that was edged to Buttler.

India were now six down, and hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Ravindra Jadeja came in next, and inspired no confidence against Anderson. However, in Rahane’s company he managed to keep the English bowling at bay for a while. Once Moeen Ali was brought on though, he didn’t last very long, getting his stumps knocked out of the ground.

In walked Bhuvneshwar Kumar, with the hopes and prayers of a million fans. Out walked Bhuvneshwar after four balls, inside edging one on to his pads, and being caught by Anderson at slip to give Moeen his fourth wicket. Co-incidentally, Bhuvneshwar was dismissed in a very similar fashion even in the first innings.

Mohammed Shami slogged the first ball he faced, but managed to survive it. He had another slog off the next ball he faced, but missed it entirely. Meanwhile, Rahane was solid at the other end, and tried to shield Shami as much as he could. Moeen then came back and bowled a straightforward delivery to Shami, only for him to miss it completely. Moeen earned his maiden five-wicket haul, and India were on their way to tying 1-1.

Pankaj Singh came in and delighted the crowds with his lovable No 11 batting, doing his utmost to put bat to ball and inadvertently failing in the process. Pankaj did manage to hit back-to-back boundaries off Moeen, but was bowled immediately after. Rahane’s unbeaten 52 was in vain, as England celebrated a tremendous victory.

Brief scores:

England 569 for 7 decl. (Alastair Cook 95, Gary Ballance 156, Ian Bell 167; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3 for 101, Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 153) and 205 for 4 (Alastair Cook 70*, Joe Root 56; Ravindra Jadeja 3 for 52) beat India 330 (Ajinkya Rahane 54, MS Dhoni 50; James Anderson 5 for 53, Stuart Broad 3 for 61, Moeen Ali 2 for 62) and 178 (Shikhar Dhawan 37, Ajinkya Rahane 52*; Moeen Ali 6 for 67) by 266 runs.

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(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)