ALASTAIR Cook’s heroic resistance ended after 374 balls and almost nine-and-a-half hours as England lost the first Test to India by nine wickets at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The chances of achieving a famous stalemate in this first match of four centred on Cook (176) and Matt Prior (91) on the final day, but they added only 16 more runs this morning and with their stand of 157 broken, England lost their last five wickets for only 50 in a lunchtime 406 all out.
Both were gone in the first hour, as Pragyan Ojha (four for 120) took his match haul to nine wickets. Prior went first, looping a simple catch back to Ojha, and then Cook, below, succumbed when he was bowled off his pad.
India’s resulting target of 77 was then treated with near contempt by Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara. Sehwag was well caught by Kevin Pietersen on the long-on boundary off Graeme Swann with only 20 more runs required, but India’s unbeaten first-innings double-centurion Pujara took his and Sehwag’s shared match aggregate to almost 400 runs to help finish the contest in only 15.3 overs.