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Ishant bowls India to memorable win

Paceman takes career-best 7 for 74 as England succumbs to short-ball barrage, goes down by 95 runs

Ishant bowls India to memorable win - Cricket News
Ishant Sharma returned figures of 7 for 74 as India registered its first away Test victory since 2011.
An Emmy-award winning writer couldn’t have scripted it better. Before the tour began, there were doubts over whether Ishant Sharma, a relatively young veteran, could provide leadership to a callow pace attack. On the final day of the Lord’s Test on Monday (July 21), with the game in the balance, he blew England away with a magnificent spell of short-pitched and hostile fast bowling either side of lunch. England, which was 173 for 4 at one stage after a 101-run partnership between Joe Root and Moeen Ali, tumbled to 223 all out, losing by 95 runs. Ishant’s final figures were 7 for 74.
 
The other twist in the tale involved Ravindra Jadeja and James Anderson, the protagonists in the Trent Bridge hullaballoo, who will both be attending an ICC hearing on Tuesday (July 22). Anderson was the last man out, run out by a direct hit from Jadeja after he charged down the wicket on playing the ball into the off side. Jadeja wheeled away in celebration, and the Indian team eventually trooped in to a standing ovation from the members in the pavilion.
 
Few could have anticipated the afternoon drama in a morning session where Root and Ali batted with relative serenity. Only 35 runs came in the first hour, and it was even more sedate in the second half, with 33 added. Jadeja posed some challenges out of the rough, and the pace bowlers were consistent without always being especially threatening.
 
The needle seemed to be nudging towards England when Root took three boundaries off the first over of a new Ishant spell, but the game changed utterly in the space of six overs either side of lunch. England was poised to go into lunch without a wicket lost when Ishant summoned up a beast of a delivery – the last of the session – that reared up from short of a length. Ali took his eyes off it, and the ball thudded into the glove before popping up to Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg. Ali had batted 147 balls for his 39.
 
MS Dhoni persisted with the short-ball tactics after lunch, but both Root and Matt Prior took it on. With two men out in the deep, Root bisected them, and then pulled in front of square when Mohammed Shami came round the wicket. Ishant was square-driven and then pulled as 20 came in the first two overs after the interval.
 
But just as England seemed to be wresting the momentum, Ishant came up with his undertaker routine, hammering one nail after another into the English coffin. Prior, who has been especially fallible against the short ball this summer, was first to go. Ishant went round the wicket, and the pull sailed straight to M Vijay at deep midwicket.
 
Ben Stokes came out on the back of nine international innings in single digits. That soon became ten as he pulled an Ishant delivery that was far too close to the body. The top edge only went as far as Pujara at wide mid-on.
 
Root had watched the innings unravel in front of his eyes, and he soon joined the procession. Another short ball, another pull, this one straight to Stuart Binny at deep backward square. Root was distraught as he walked off, after making 66 from 146 balls.
 
Stuart Broad, who was peppered with short balls, eventually tickled one down the legside to Dhoni. By then, Ishant had taken five wickets for 24 in 33 balls either side of lunch. Post-interval, the figures were 4 for 9 in 21 balls.
 
It was all too much for England, which has now gone 10 Tests without a win. As for India, its worst overseas streak of modern times – 15 Tests without a win – is finally over. And it can thank the enigma with the Medusa hair for it.   

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