LONDON, (Reuters) – England completed a 196-run win over the world’s top-ranked side India at Lord’s today after James Anderson cut through their middle order with five for 65.
Anderson captured the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (12) after dismissing India’s two other most accomplished batsman Rahul Dravid (36) and Vangipurappu Laxman (56) in the 2,000th test match and the 100th between the two countries.
Tendulkar, 38, who has scored a world record 14,738 test runs, has never made more than 37 at Lord’s and is still one century short of becoming the first person to tally 100 international hundreds.
India were intent on saving the game in the absence of the injured Virender Sehwag, their one player who could have taken the game away from the opposition
Instead they pinned their hopes on the proven class and techniques of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman to mount a rearguard action. But the Indians failed to stop the home side from taking a 1-0 lead in the four-test series. England will overtake India in the rankings if they win the series by at least a two-match margin.
“The bowling unit was outstanding all the way through the test match. The way the bowlers stuck to their task today was an outstanding performance. The wicket was fairly flat and they had to build pressure and be patient,” England captain Andrew Strauss said during the presentation ceremony
Dravid and Laxman had made a promising start on Sunday evening when they guided India to 80 for one and they continued where they left off in the face of some hostile bowling from Chris Tremlett who extracted pace and bounce from the pitch.
Dravid was dropped on 35 off Tremlett when Ian Bell at short-leg leaped high but failed to gather a difficult bat-pad chance.
After batting for 5-1/2 hours in the first innings for an unbeaten 103, Dravid failed to repeat his heroics on the final day and was out after scoring one more run, lbw to Anderson.
Laxman, who had edged a four off Anderson between second slip and gully, batted calmly to reach his 53rd test half-century with eight boundaries. He appeared well set when he gifted his wicket to Anderson, playing a loose shot to leg which was caught by Bell at mid-wicket.
His dismissal brought Tendulkar to the crease with a standing ovation from a packed Lord’s crowd, some of whom had started queuing at three a.m. for the 20,000 tickets on sale.
Tendulkar, batting at number five after he missed most of Sunday’s play with a virus complaint, turned Anderson sweetly through mid-wicket for a boundary.
He lost Gautam Gambhir, who had also batted down the order after he was struck painfully on the elbow while fielding at short-leg on Sunday, for 22 lbw to Graeme Swann and at lunch India were a precarious 142 for four.
Tendulkar was becalmed for 48 minutes on 11 after the interval and survived what appeared to be a justifiable shout for lbw from Stuart Broad. He was dropped on 12 by Andrew Strauss at first slip off Anderson then finally departed lbw to the pace bowler two balls later after 85 laborious minutes.
Suresh Raina, who failed to score in the first innings, played freely in contrast to Tendulkar’s introspection.
Combining meaty drives and deft deflections, the left-hander had reached 54 at tea at which stage England still needed a further five wickets from a minimum 44 overs.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lingered for 74 minutes before he was caught behind off Anderson for 16 and Harbhajan Singh failed to profit from a dropped catch by Eoin Morgan at point when he had scored 11. He added one more before hooking wildly at Anderson and lofting the ball to Tremlett at mid-on.
Raina, on 63, survived an lbw shout from Broad when, to the naked eye and on the television replays, he seemed to be struck straight in front of the stumps.
To the consternation of the bowler and the entire England side Billy Bowden was unmoved. The Decision Review System (DRS) is not being used for lbws in the four-match series because the Indian cricket board have doubts about ball-tracking technology.
Broad took out his frustration on Praveen Kumar, bowling the tailender for two and Raina gave Anderson his fifth wicket when he was caught behind for 78, including 10 boundaries.
Ishant Sharma was the final wicket to fall when he was lbw to Broad for one. Five wickets had fallen in 15.3 overs after tea.
Kevin Pietersen was named man-of-the-match for his unbeaten double century in the first innings.