England on brink of victory as India batsmen fail again

Staff writer

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - Page 20

India had a lead of 32 with just one wicket remaining after ending the fourth day of the third Test against England at 239-9 in Kolkata yesterday.

Once again, the hosts’ batsmen failed to shine and it was left to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to save India from total ignominy with a hard-fought 83 not out.

After Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir put on a brisk 86 for the first wicket, India slumped to 159-8 before fast bowler Ishant Sharma joined Ashwin and hung around for 53 balls before becoming Monty Panesar’s first and only victim of the day.

Fast bowler Steve Finn took 3-37 while off-spinner Graeme Swann and paceman James Anderson took two wickets apiece.

The remaining wicket came from a run out, Cheteshwar Pujara, who had made only 8, the unfortunate victim.

England had started the day on 509-6 but quickly folded to be dismissed for 523, Ashwin picking up two of the wickets to fall.

Fast bowler Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha took the other wickets, the left-arm spinner finishing with figures of 4-142.

A win now looks inevitable for England, which will leave them 2-1 up in the series with one Test to play, which starts in Nagpur on Thursday.