Moeen Six-For Ends England's Win Drought

England ended a winless run of ten Tests, which began in August last year, in style on the fifth morning in Southampton, completing a performance so clinical that they did not allow India even a dominant hour in four days and one session. It was almost the perfect Test, because not only did England's out-of-form batsmen - the under-pressure captain Alastair Cook and Ian Bell - make big runs but they also plugged the one hole in their bowling attack, with offspinner Moeen Ali completing a six-wicket haul to level the series 1-1.

The home side began the day needing six wickets, and India did not offer a semblance of a fight. James Anderson, who faces a possible suspension at his Level 3 hearing on Friday, was immaculate once again, breaking India's back before leaving the spotlight for Moeen to spin through the tail. Ajinkya Rahane remained unbeaten on a half-century - his second of the Test - but he ran out of partners ten minutes before lunch.

On the fourth morning, Anderson had mopped up India's last two wickets with bouncers. Today he got rid of Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni inside the first half hour with his stock outswinger. Both batsmen wafted loosely on the front foot and edged to Jos Buttler, who finished his debut Test with six catches, a score of 85 off 83 balls, and numerous athletic diving saves. There was debate over Rohit's decision - Snicko indicated an edge, Hot Spot did not - but no doubt over Dhoni. Anderson's first spell read 6-2-11-2 and he claimed his second Man-of-the-Match award of the series.

Moeen had hurt India on the fourth evening, dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in quick succession, and wasted no time in adding to his tally. Ravindra Jadeja, who had a poor Test with the ball, completed a poor one with the bat too by almost yorking himself and inside-edging a full ball on to his stumps. Four balls later Moeen had Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who in previous innings had exhibited better defence than several top-order India batsmen, caught at gully with an offbreak that bounced sharply, hit the inside edge and lobbed off the pad.

Mohammed Shami and Pankaj Singh, India's No. 10 and 11, gave Moeen view of their stumps and lost them in quick time to deliveries that did not turn as much as the batsmen expected. With match figures of 8 for 129, Moeen had shaken off the perception of him being a part-time spinner.

(Cricinfo)


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