England script famous series win on Indian soil

Nagpur, Dec 17 (IANS) England scripted their first series win in India since 1984-85 after the fourth and final cricket Test ended in a dull draw at the VCA Stadium here Monday.

England, starting the day at 161 for three, batted India out of the game by going on to make 352 for four in their second innings when the play was called off an hour after tea on the final day.

The stars for England were Jonathan Trott (143) and Ian Bell (116 not out), who took the game away from the hosts by forging a 208-run stand from a precarious 94 for three on day four. England had made 330 in their first innings and India responded with 326 for nine.

The draw meant England got their hands on the Anthony De Mello Trophy as they won the four-match series 2-1. It was a remarkable comeback for the visitors, who bounced back after a heavy loss in the first Test at Ahmedabad.

The Indian bowling, that looked inferior to England's attack throughout the series, failed to come up with something special on a slow wicket, responsible for producing a drab affair.

The match ended with Gautam Gambhir rolling his arm over for the first time in Tests, demonstrating that the India ran out of options.

While Trott completed his eighth Test hundred before lunch, Bell got his first big score of the series minutes before the end of the game. For Bell it was his 17th Test century that took his team home safely.

If the pitch did no good to India's cause, their sloppy fielding let them further down.

Sehwag was once again caught napping at first slip, dropping Bell off Piyush Chawla. His late reaction to Bell's cut short led to the slip-up. Sehwag had also dropped Kevin Pietersen on the penultimate day of the game.

England skipper Alastair Cook led from the front and was deservingly picked as the man of the series. The southpaw amassed 562 runs at ana average of 80.28 to be series' highest run-getter, smashing three hundreds in the process.

For India, it was their first series loss at home since 2004, when they lost 1-2 to Australia.