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England crush India by 266 runs

Moeen Ali takes 6-67 as hosts win to level series

photo by Agency photo

England spinner Moeen Ali picked up six wickets in the second innings to take England to a comfortable victory against India at Southampton on Thursday.

By Agency
01st-Aug-2014       
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England ended a year-long wait for a Test win by wrapping up a 266-run victory over India in the third Test at Southampton on Thursday.
After setting the tourists 445 to win, England took the six wickets required on the final day to bowl the tourists out for 178 and end a 10-match winless run.
Moeen Ali claimed his first Test-match five-wicket haul to finish with 6-47, while James Anderson picked up 2-24.
The result levels the five-match series at 1-1 going into the fourth Test at Old Trafford, which begins next Thursday.
The win also represents a personal triumph for home captain Alastair Cook, who had faced calls to quit after the second Test defeat at Lord's amid his own and his team's poor run of form.
Cook responded with 95 in the first innings and an unbeaten 70 in the second, while there were also strong showings from a trio of underperforming senior players - a century from Ian Bell and a combined 10 wickets for Anderson and Stuart Broad in the match.
Along with Joe Root, they are the only men who survive from England's previous win, which came in the fourth Test against Australia at Chester-le-Street in August 2013.
While that victory sealed a third consecutive Ashes triumph for an experienced outfit accustomed to winning, this is a welcome success for a transitional team containing six members who had never been on the right end of a Test result.
Although the visitors been reduced to 112-4 last night, England might still have had concerns about India's long batting line-up - particularly as the home side themselves came within two balls of saving the second Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley in June after beginning the last day on 57-5.
But Anderson struck early to allay any fears, before Moeen took charge to spin England to victory.
Anderson faces an International Cricket Council hearing on Friday, where he will be banned for a minimum of two Tests if he is found guilty of pushing and verbally abusing India's Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test at Trent Bridge.
Swinging the ball at a full length, he provided a perfect illustration of the threat England would miss as, in the second over the day, he induced a thin edge from Rohit Sharma which was taken by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Four overs later, the Lancashire paceman produced an exact copy, which Mahendra Dhoni poked through to Buttler.
At the other end, Ajinkya Rahane was providing calm resistance to end unbeaten on 52, although he could do no more than look on as Moeen ran through the lower order.
Jadeja was bowled playing over a full delivery before, four balls on, Bhuvneshwar Kumar inside-edged on to his leg to be caught by Anderson, who had just been placed at gully.
Moeen, deceiving the tourists with variations of pace, length and flight, continued a remarkable spell of three wickets for one run in 12 balls by zipping one through the defence of Mohammed Shami.
England were briefly held up by the completion of Rahane's half-century and last man Pankaj Singh's slogging but, when Moeen skidded a straight one in to Pankaj's off stump, Cook and his men were able to celebrate victory for the first time in 354 days.

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