England once again exposed India’s batting against spin in the 2nd innings to win the 4th Test match at Southampton by 60 runs. England has now taken an unassailable lead of 3-1 in 5 match Test series. While chasing a tricky target of 245 runs to win, India’s top order stumbled within 10 overs as they lost their top 3 batsmen for only 22 runs. However, captain Virat Kohli (58) and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (51) put up a fight to stitch 100 runs partnership for the 4th wicket. Meanwhile, Moeen Ali once again comes into play to remove Indian skipper Virat Kohli just before Tea to open the gate for England to go through their lower order.
Moeen repeated his 2014 performance against India at the same venue in Southampton. 4 years back Moeen picked 6 wickets in India’s 2nd innings to hand England win in Southampton. Now in 2018, he has bettered his record by picking 9 wickets (5/63 and 4/71) in a match to win his team a Test match and the series.
The Indian lower order failed yet again consecutively throughout the whole series. Visitors Highly rated All-rounder Hardik Pandya did not able to open his account in the 2nd innings, to add to that he gave away 95 runs, including both innings and only managed to take 1 wicket in the low scoring match. Apart from him, Rishab Pant was also failing to show his batting talent and got out for 18 runs in the 2nd innings. Though R Ashwin tried to stick around with the bat, but well set Rahane got LBW to end India’s hope of winnings Test match.
India was bowled out for a paltry 184 runs, Where they lost their last 7 wickets for 61 runs. India has never ever chased a target of 200 plus outside Asia in past 30 years. The record remains safe as India proved it true by getting out under 200 runs while chasing a target of 245 runs.
Note: Moeen Ali won Player of the match award for exceptional bowling performance and also contributing with the bat. He is the difference between both sides. Earlier, he helped England to recover from 86/6 along with Sam Curran and then taking 9 wickets in the match.