Cricket: CASH & CURRY KINGS; ENGLAND IN INDIA: Freddie's Heroes Win Final Test and Draw Series 1-1 Fired-Up England Leave India with Tears on the Pilau
Byline: Mike Walters REPORTS FROM MUMBAI
FIRED up by a lunchtime Johnny Cash hoe-down and a Shaggy God story - no, that's not a misprint - England pulled off their greatest Test win against the odds for a generation here.
As pep-talks go, singing along to country legend Cash's old hit Ring of Fire with a "yee-hah" and a "howdy, partner" is unconventional motivation for blowing away India's batting galacticos for just 100.
But Freddie Flintoff's raj raiders wrapped up victory by taking seven wickets for 25 runs in just 15 overs after gathering all the players and backroom staff round the iPod speakers in their dressing room for a good old-fashioned barn dance.
From slim pickings in the morning session, England raced to a 212-run win 74 minutes after lunch as 37-year-old off-spinner Shaun Udal - nicknamed 'Shaggy' - cleaned up with 4-14. Udal, the oldest bowler England have wheeled out since 42-year-old John Emburey played against the West Indies at Old Trafford in 1995, led the excitable celebrations when Matthew Hoggard swallowed a steepling catch at deep square leg to clinch the victory.
For shock value, England's first Test win in India for 21 years was their finest since Graham Gooch led a bunch of no-hopers to the Caribbean in 1990, on the rebound from a 4-0 Ashes drubbing by Australia, and conjured up a ninewicket win against the West Indies in Jamaica.
Just as Gooch was an inspirational skipper on England's mission impossible then, caretaker captain Flintoff's leadership in India has been absolutely immense.
And when Fred's jukebox jury chose Johnny Cash for England's pick of the pops, India - chasing a distant 313 to win - were 75-3, with Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar looking as ominously well-set as quickdrying cement.
But Flintoff, bounding in at 90mph, located Dravid's outside edge three balls after the restart. And when Little Master Tendulkar turned Udal into the bat-pad boobytrap at short leg in the next over, India knew it would be tears on their pilau for supper.
Flintoff said: "There's a lot of drivel played on the iPod in our dressing room, but Ring of Fire is a song that the lads enjoy. We often played it in Pakistan when we needed a lift, and when we played it again here at lunchtime we went back on the field with a spring in our step."
With Dravid, who is known as 'The Wall' because he is the most immovable piece of brickwork in Asia south of the Great Wall of China, and local hero Tendulkar gone, India came quietly.
Jimmy Anderson pinned Virender Sehwag, stricken by a back injury, leg-before without scoring before a comic-cut in which new England cult hero Monty Panesar joined Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin in slapstick legend. …