Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cricket: Test Fizzles out; India Settle for the Draw

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cricket: Test Fizzles out; India Settle for the Draw

Article excerpt

INDIA were happy to settle for a draw and a 1-0 series win when they delayed a declaration in Mohali so that England could not win.

The hosts batted on until they had reached 251-7 in mid-afternoon on the final day, a lead of 402 which was far too many for England to even consider an assault on it.

England lost Alastair Cook early in their reply, but by then a draw looked almost inevitable, and they reached tea on 31-1, leaving India to try and take nine wickets in the final session.

India had begun the day knowing their only hope of forcing victory and securing a 2-0 series triumph was to score quick runs to give themselves time to bowl England out on the final afternoon.

That plan was undermined from the start with an hour and a half wiped out of the day's play by early morning fog, and although India tried to set a lively pace with the bat, the delay in their declaration suggested they were content to draw.

However three of their batsmen were run out in attempting to push the score along, so only four wickets fell to the bowlers and they were shared with nobody taking more than one of them.

Yuvraj Singh made a quickfire 86, including six fours and four sixes, before being run out.

Opener Gautam Gambhir was more patient in making 97 before falling to Graeme Swann, who clipped the spinner to Ian Bell at backward point, a dismissal which brought the declaration, India appearing to put individual ambition ahead of an attempt to win the match.

When England went to the crease opener Cook was their only casualty when he edged seamer Ishant Sharma to VVS Laxman at second slip for 10, but England otherwise progressed to the safety of tea without further alarm.

They had started the innings cautiously knowing that to lose a couple of early wickets would leave the alarm bells ringing.

Defeat would have been a major embarrassment, but towards tea Andrew Strauss and Bell grew in confidence, and started to pay more shots. …

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