December 6, 2001

Six wickets for Kumble as India outplay England

Kumble Dasgupta
Kumble and Dasgupta celebrate
Photo AFP

India completed a comprehensive victory over England in the first Test match at Mohali after the tourists were bowled out in their second innings for 235, leaving the home side needing just five runs to win. Anil Kumble took six for 81 as only Graham Thorpe put up any significant resistance. As their captain Nasser Hussain said afterwards, England have a lot of thinking to do before the second Test starts in Ahmedabad next week.

It didn't take India long to prise the first opening this morning, after Mark Butcher and Marcus Trescothick resumed their overnight partnership. Trescothick took two early boundaries with square drives off Yohannan, and Butcher took his first from Yohannan as Sourav Ganguly bungled a dive at extra cover. But Butcher was then fatally late on a pull shot, perishing as the top edge went to the substitute, Jacob Martin, at midwicket.

Nasser Hussain showed his current form with two flowing boundaries off Anil Kumble, one through the covers and the other through mid-on. But Yohannan struck again when Trescothick (46) failed to get on top of a hook and was brilliantly caught by Iqbal Siddiqui, running round from the long leg boundary. Hussain then tried to cut a ball from Kumble that was too full for the shot and bounced more than he expected, chopping it into his stumps. The England captain had made 12 and departed with the score on 87 for 3.

Graham Thorpe relieved some of the tension with a flowing off drive, and Mark Ramprakash took his first two boundaries with sweeps behind square leg. At lunch England were still 104 runs behind with seven wickets left.

The afternoon session started quietly, with the 50 partnership coming up as Ramprakash steered Yohannan past point for three as Harbhajan chased down to third man. Harbhajan himself, inexplicably ignored for much of the morning by his captain, eventually came on to bowl the 53rd over of the innings, and was greeted by a sumptuous drive by Thorpe to the extra cover boundary. Ramprakash produced a quality stroke of his own in Kumble's next over, deftly using the pace of the ball to run it down for four to third man.

But Kumble inflicted another body blow on England when he trapped Ramprakash, plumb lbw back on his stumps with a quicker, skidding delivery to leave England on 159 for 4. Flintoff began with a boundary on his 25th birthday, but that was as far as the celebrations went. He was on his way next ball, caught by Ganguly at silly point off bat and pad to leave England deep in the mire. Craig White also began aggressively, with boundaries off Kumble through the covers and Harbhajan over mid-off.

Sadly for White and for England it wasn't to last. It was a defensive shot that undid White as he pushed forward to Harbhajan; he got a thin outside edge and Dasgupta completed the dismissal. James Foster managed to avoid a pair in his first Test, but had made just five when he tried to sweep Harbhajan just as he had done in the first innings, and was given out lbw by umpire Venkat. James Ormond followed swiftly, bowled off his pads for a duck as he went back to Kumble to leave England on the brink at 207 for 8. England's final hope was extinguished with Graham Thorpe, who fell for 62, caught and bowled by Kumble as he tried to hit the leg-spinner back down the ground.

Shortly after ensuring that India would bat again, England lost their last wicket when Dawson was bowled through the gate by Kumble to leave England 235 all out. India took just two balls to complete their victory as makeshift opener Siddiqui took four off Hoggard to third man and then a single to midwicket. In the end India had done it at a canter, and Anil Kumble was made man of the match for his six for 81.