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Ishant inspires India to victory

By Callum Dent

Ishant Sharma produced a stunning spell of bowling en route to superb figures of 7-74 as India beat England by 95 runs in the second Investec Test at Lord’s to claim their first format victory overseas for three years.

Resuming on 105 for four in pursuit of 319 to win, the hosts were boosted by a 101-run fifth-wicket stand between half-centurion Joe Root and Moeen Ali.

However, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to throw the ball to Ishant for a short burst before the lunch interval proved inspirational as he dismissed Moeen with the final delivery of the morning session.

The paceman, operating from the Pavilion End, continued his short-ball tactics after the resumption to devastating affect, taking a remarkable four wickets for nine runs in just 21 deliveries.

Matt Prior, Ben Stokes and Root were all architects of their own downfalls, pulling Ishant to one of three fielders patrolling the leg-side boundary, before Stuart Broad tickled a short ball to Dhoni.

India paceman Ishant Sharma is mobbed by his team-mates after dismissing England batsman Joe Root for 66 at Lord's

From 173 for four, England were dismissed for 223 when Ravindra Jadeja’s direct-hit ran out James Anderson to hand India just their sixth Test triumph on these shores.

In the opening hour of the day, in which England added 35 runs, they suffered only one scare when Root, on the back foot, pushed outside off stump at an Ishant delivery and saw an edge fall just short of Shikhar Dhawan at first slip.

During that time Moeen immaculately drove Ishant, charging in at pace, through the covers for three to take his stand with Root to 50.

It was slow going at times, Root punching Bhuvneshwar Kumar through the covers for his side’s first boundary in 15 overs while Moeen was stuck on 30 for 27 deliveries.

However, despite all of England’s hard work, Ishant hurried India to victory with a quintet of wickets in 33 balls either side of the lunch interval.

After Root moved to fifty by driving and cutting the paceman for three fours in the previous over, Ishant responded by delivering a vicious bouncer that Moeen could only fend off to Cheteshwar Pujara at short-leg.

Ravindra Jadeja wheels away in delight after his run-out of James Anderson handed India a 95-run victory in the second Investec Test

In the two overs after the resumption, India’s short bowling was punished as Prior and Root racked up 20 runs.

But that did not last long as Prior, Stokes and Root were all sucked into a perfectly-executed trap from Dhoni et al.

Operating with three men on the boundary, Ishant saw Prior and Root both hook to deep square-leg either side of Stokes top-edging to midwicket to depart for a pair.

Ishant, who did not take a wicket in the first innings, became the first India bowler to snare seven victims in a Test in England when Broad feathered behind to Dhoni. 

And India’s victory was complete when Anderson was run out by Jadeja after the left-hander, attempting a quick single, was sent back by Liam Plunkett. 

Match scorecard   Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Post-Match Reaction

England skipper Alastair Cook said: “It’s definitely an issue of confidence and getting over that finishing line. We haven’t won for a long time. That’s where we’re at. The lads are hurting in the dressing room.

“Yes the older guys aren’t playing as well as their record suggests. It’s not happening for those guys at the moment –- they’ve got to work really hard, the same as I have, I’ve got to start scoring runs as well.

“It gets harder and harder the more we don’t win. Until that bloke taps me on the shoulder and says I’m not good enough I’m desperate to try and turn this around for England. If I’m not good enough at the end of the summer then so be it. I’m really trying my heart out to do this.”

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said: “What was important is we had 300 runs (to protect). The first session showed us we had to be at our best because a big partnership got going. We had to keep going and keep pushing hard.

“That over before lunch I think Ishant (Sharma) didn’t really want to bowl short. We had to give the confidence to keep bowling short and attacking the batsmen. I think it was a fantastic bowling - he bowled a long spell.”

Man-of-the-match Ishant Sharma, who completed his sixth Test five-for, said: “I think the credit should not just go to me but to the captain because he is the only one to tell me that you are tall enough so you have to bowl a bouncer and you have to use your height. That’s what I did.”

Afternoon Session    

England lost their final five wickets for just 25 runs as India recorded a famous win at Lord's

2.47pm - WICKET! Anderson run out (Jadeja) 2; Eng 223 all out - INDIA WIN BY 95 RUNS! - James Anderson attempts a quick single but is sent back by Liam Plunkett and Ravindra Jadeja's direct-hit hands India victory, their first overseas in three years. The tourists lead the series 1-0.

2.31pm - WICKET! Broad c Dhoni b Ishant 8; Eng 216/9 - Broad is the next to go as he tickles a short Ishant ball behind to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The paceman has seven wickets. 

2.11pm - WICKET! Root c Binny b Ishant 66; Eng 201/8 - Unbelievable! Root follows Prior and Stokes in pulling Ishant and losing his wicket, Stuart Binny taking the catch inside the rope. 

2.08pm - WICKET! Stokes c Pujara b Ishant 0; Eng 201/7 - Ishant completes a five-wicket haul courtesy of another England player contributing to their own downfall. This time Stokes skies a pull into the air and Cheteshwar Pujara takes the catch. The left-hander departs for a pair. 

1.59pm - WICKET! Prior c Vijay b Ishant 12; Eng 198/6 - The pull proves to be Prior's downfall. With three men back on the boundary, the right-hander picks out Murali Vijay to hand Ishant another victim. 

1.50pm - Matt Prior starts positively, punching Ishant Sharma through the covers for England's third boundary in seven balls after the resumption. He then pulls the same bowler in front of square for another four. 

1.45pm - Joe Root splits the two fielders occupying the boundary at fine and square-leg with a pulled four off Mohammed Shami, who sees his next delivery race to the midwicket boundary.

Morning Session 

A 101-run stand between Joe Root and Moeen Ali gave England a sniff of a day five victory at Lord's


1pm - WICKET & LUNCH! Moeen c Pujara b Ishant 39; Eng 173/5 - Dhoni's short-ball plan works as Moeen falls to the final delivery of the morning session. The left-hander is caught by Cheteshwar Pujara at short-leg off a fierce Ishant bouncer. Root, who took a couple of blows just before the interval, remains 52 not out. That wicket overshadows what was a decent session for the hosts. But, with the new ball due in four overs, there is plenty of work still ahead of them this afternoon.

12.55pm - CENTURY PARTNERSHIP! - Moeen lifts Jadeja over mid-on for two to take his stand with Root into three figures. 

12.48pm - FIFTY! Root (122b 5x4 0x6) - Chants of 'Roooooot' echo around the home of cricket as the right-hander hits three boundaries, two driven and one cut, off Ishant's first over back into the attack. 

12.43pm - Root calls for the physio after taking a blow on the hand from a Bhuvneshwar ball that shot off a length. 

12.32pm -  Moeen guides Bhuvneshwar through the vacant gully region to collect four more and bring up England's 150. 

12.24pm -  Root ends a drought of 15 overs without a boundary by punching Bhuvneshwar off the back foot to the cover rope. Moeen, on 30, profits from a Jadeja misfield to collect his first run for 27 balls. It's slow going at the moment. 

12.17pm - Shami keeps things tight during his opening three-over spell, delivering two maidens and conceding only three runs. Jadeja is back at the Nursery End. The new ball is due in 15 overs. 

12pm -  Root, taking one hand off the bat, pushes Mohammed Shami, on at the Nursery End, past a diving Virat Kohli at wide mid-off for three. England have added 35 in the first hour this morning. 

11.40am - England's cause is helped when Dhawan's wide delivery down the leg side flies past Mahendra Singh Dhoni for four byes. There have been 50 byes in this match to equal the record at Lord's set in 1893. Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaces Ishant. 

11.37am - Ishant, charging in at pace from the Pavilion End, is clipped through midwicket by Root for three. 

11.28am - Moeen replicates his earlier drive off Ishant and collects three, moving his stand with Root to 50. England have started solidly. 

11.18am - Root, on the back foot, pushes hard at Ishant outside off stump and an edge just falls short of Shikhar Dhawan at first slip. 

11.12pm - Moeen edges Ishant along the ground through the slips for another boundary.

11.05am - Joe Root plays out the opening over, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, for a maiden. Moeen Ali then drives Ishant Sharma through the covers for four. 

Pre-Play News

10.55am - Former India batting all-rounder Sourav Ganguly rings the five-minute bell. 

10.50am - In a post-match interview last night, Assistant Coach Paul Farbrace called on England to replicate the fighting spirit they showed against Sri Lanka at Headingley last month. 

10.40am -  Another enthralling day of Test cricket is upon us. This could be huge for the outcome of the five-match series. It’s very muggy at HQ and the sun is expected to break out later on.

10.30am -  Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the fifth and final day of the second Investec Test between England and India at Lord's.    

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