Moeen Ali inspires England to victory in third Test as Alastair Cook’s men win for the first time in a year
- England spinner Mooen Ali takes six second innings wickets
- Hosts win the Test by 266 runs to level series at 1-1 with two to play
- James Anderson took two wickets on day five to help England to victory
England have squared this Investec Test series in emphatic fashion, hammering India by 266 runs on the back of Moeen Ali’s Test-best haul of 6 for 67.
The rout, which had begun yesterday evening, was continued this morning by Jimmy Anderson, who has looked back to his best in what could prove his final Test if Justice Gordon Lewis finds him guilty of shoving Ravindra Jadeja at Trent Bridge.
In the second over of the morning, Anderson drew Rohit Sharma forward and kissed the outside edge – a death knell confirmed by Snicko, if not by Hotspot, which has often had problems detecting faint nicks.
Man of the moment: Moeen Ali celebrates taking the wicket of Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Time for cheer: England celebrate beating India and leveling the series at 1-1
Joy of six: Ali celebrates taking the wicket of Mohammed Shami
Long walk: MS Dhoni returns to the pavilion after being dismissed
Sharma walked off disconsolately, possibly because he disagreed with the decision, but more probably because his return to the Test side after being ignored at Trent Bridge and Lord’s has been a characteristically flaky affair.
Four overs later, Anderson removed MS Dhoni, who rarely looks at ease when the match situation demands circumspection. Neither has he looked at ease in this series when the ball is doing a little outside off stump, and the inevitable edge was pocketed by Jos Buttler.
After Anderson’s opening salvo of 6-2-11-2, the baton passed to Moeen Ali. In 12 balls, the man branded a part-time spinner by plenty of sage observers, removed Ravindra Jadeja (bowled off stump by a full-length delivery the batsman contrived to miss), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (caught in the gully for a duck via bat and pad) and Mohammed Shami (ushering a straight one on to the top of middle).
Putting up a fight: Ravindra Jadeja plays some shots during India’s second innings
That is out: Jadeja is bowled by Moeen Ali as James Anderson celebrates during day five
Spin king: Ali celebrates taking the wicket of Jadeja
To cries of ‘Graeme who?’, Moeen had completed a maiden Test five-for – and allowed England a dreamy vision of a balanced attack for years to come.
And it was all over at 12.48 as Moeen bowled the hapless Pankaj Singh to collect his sixth wicket and spark a celebratory huddle not seen in English Test cricket since Australia were brushed aside at Chester-le-Street last August.
Jumping for joy: James Anderson celebrates as he takes the wicket of Rohit Sharma
All square: Anderson helped England make it 1-1 in the series
Nearly there: Alastair Cook (left) and Jos Buttler celebrate afterAnderson (not pictured) takes another wicket
As for India, skittled for 178, they barely showed up for this Test, losing each of the 13 sessions in this match and reverting to the away-from-home diffidence that had brought them not a single victory abroad for three years until they won at Lord’s.
They will need to improve at Manchester – though the absence of Anderson would obviously help.