Moeen Ali spins a web as England tie series with big win
Posted on Jul 31 2014 | IANS
Southampton, July 31 : Moeen Ali's maiden six-wicket haul in India's second innings helped England tie the five-match series 1-1, beating the visitors by 266 runs in the third cricket Test at The Rose Bowl here Thursday.
An abysmal batting performance by India saw them being bowled out for 178 on the final day before lunch.
Ajinkya Rahane's 52 not out was the standout performance for the visitors.
In what was the worst batting performance in the series, India, who were 112 for four at stumps on the fourth day, lost six wickets for just 66 runs in the morning session to hand England an easy win.
India lost Rohit Sharma (6) before even a single run could be added to the overnight score.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who struck a fighting half century in the first innings, didn't stick around for much long, edging a James Anderson delivery straight to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja (15) managed to stem the fall of wickets briefly with a 32-run partnership.
However, Jadeja failed to read a Moeen Ali yorker and while trying to dig it out, deflected the ball back on to his stumps.
The stage was set for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who claimed the record for the most balls faced by a No.9 in a Test series, to pull out another rabbit out of the hat but it wasn't meant to be.
Moeen Ali claimed his second wicket off the over as Bhuvneshwar lunged forward only managing to balloon a catch to Anderson at gully.
Mohammed Shami became Moeen Ali's fifth victim again castled by the part-time off-spinner.
Rahane and Pankaj Singh (9) threw their bat around aimlessly in the end and managed to get a few boundaries, delaying the inevitable and predictably it was Moeen Ali who claimed the final wicket once again disturbing the timber.
After a drab first Test draw and a historic win for India at Lord's, the win for England has put the series back in balance.
The two sides will next lock horns at Manchester Aug 7 in the fourth Test.