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England thrash India by 10 wickets to level series

England raced to a resounding 10-wicket win in the second Test over India here to level the four-match series at 1-1. Chasing 57 to win, England openers Alastair Cook (18) and Nick Compton (30) took their team over the line in the first session itself on day four at the Wankhede Stadium.

India resumed the day on 117 for 7 with a lead of 31 runs, and England spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar took little time to wrap up the hosts’ innings for 142. Swann took his third wicket of the innings when he took out Harbhajan Singh for 6. The India offspinner lifted Panesar for a four off the first ball of the day but in the very next over he fell to a ball that kicked up unexpectedly and took the edge through to Jonathan Trott at first slip.

Panesar, who took 5 for 129 in the first innings, bagged his sixth wicket of the second innings with Zaheer Khan’s departure. Zaheer tried to slog-sweep him for six but got a top edge and wicketkeeper Matt Prior ran some distance to complete the catch.

Gautam Gambhir, who was unbeaten on 53 overnight, was uncommonly defensive today considering India needed some runs to make a match of it. His and India’s innings came to end when Swann trapped him lbw for 65 off 142 balls though replays showed an inside edge. Panesar finished the match with figures of 11 for 210, while Swann closed out with 8 for 113.

The match witnessed a few milestones, most notably being Cook and Kevin Pietersen hitting their 22nd centuries to join Geoffrey Boycott, Colin Cowdrey and Wally Hammond as England’s highest century-makers in Tests. Cook (122) and Pietesen (186) stitched together 206 for the second wicket to help England post 413 in their first innings, in reply to India’s 327. After an 86-run lead, Panesar and Swann ran through the Indian batting in the second innings to take their team to a famous win. The only real positive for the hosts came in the form of Chesteshwar Pujara who scored a brilliant 135 in the first innings.

The third Test starts at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens from December 5.

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