MS Dhoni and team etched themselves in the record books at Lord’s as India clinched their first Test win at the historic venue.
MS Dhoni and team etched themselves in the record books at Lord’s as India clinched their first Test win at the historic venue in nearly three decades as they rode on Ishant Sharma’s inspired spell of fast bowling to demolish England by 95 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the five match series on Monday.
The lanky speedster from Delhi, whose consistency has always been under the scanner, delivered when it mattered most, as he grabbed a career-best 7 for 74 to bowl out the home team for a 223 in pursuit of a competitive victory target of 319.
From a relatively comfortable 173 for four, the last six wickets fell for only 50 runs with the final five coming in only 12.2 overs after lunch on an absorbing fifth day’s play. It took 28 long years for India to win a Test match at the ‘Home of Cricket’ after ‘Kapil Dev’s men achieved the feat back in 1986 winning by five wickets. It also marked Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s first significant victory as Test captain outside the sub-continent. The last time India won a Test match outside the South Asian region was back in 2011 when they defeated West Indies in a 1-0 series win.
The victory was achieved in the 89th over when James Anderson tapped a Ravindra Jadeja delivery towards short cover and set off for non-existent single but Jadeja was alert enough to pick up and break the stumps down with a direct throw triggering off instant celebrations. Skipper Dhoni as usual collected a stump as souvenir as the jubilant players hugged each other with the support staff and reserve bench applauding them from the hallowed balcony.
Resuming at a precarious 105 for four on the final day, the two overnight batsmen Joe Root (66) and Moeen Ali (39) batted with a lot of determination adding 101 runs in 44.4 overs before Ishant struck at the stroke of lunch. Soon followed were a series of horrible pull-shots as each and every England batsmen took the bait of pulling Ishant and were holed out in the process.
Interestingly, this is also India’s first Test win for the team since the retirement of legendary Sachin Tendulkar as India have drawn three and lost two in the five Tests. It seems dark days ahead for the home team skipper Alastair Cook as his head is on line after prolonged poor form with the bat as well as his lack of assertiveness while captaining the side. For the Indian captain Dhoni, it will be one of his happiest moments having received a lot of flak for losing eight Test matches overseas in England and Australia during the 2011-12 seasons.