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Moeen Ali is the king of Southampton and other takeaways as England clinch Test series against India

Moeen Ali starred in England's 60-run win over India in the fourth Test at Southampton

Ashish Peter 2018/09/02

In a Test match for the ages, hosts England clinched victory in the series after completing a 60-run win over India in the fourth match at Southampton.

With England’s final two wickets falling early on day four, India were set a stiff target of 245 to win in the final innings. In a topsy-turvy chase in which both sides took turns to impose themselves,  it was England who came out on top ultimately as they secured a 3-1 win in the five-match series.

India eventually folded for 184 runs in their second innings as their hopes of taking the series into a decider at The Oval were cruelly dashed.

Here, we look at the key talking points from the clash.

ANDERSON AND BROAD DESTROY INDIA’S TOP ORDER

India would have been hoping for a decent start from their openings in their fourth innings chase after bundling out the final two English wickets early on day four. Those hopes, however, were quickly dashed with England’s new-ball pairing of James Anderson and Stuart Broad breathing havoc at the start of the innings.

The two England pacers were getting the ball to move both ways at will and with the odd delivery staying low, the batsmen were in for a testing period. KL Rahul was the first to perish before even opening his account after an excellent inswinger from Broad kept a touch low before shattering his stumps.

Anderson soon got into the act himself and he had India’s first-innings centurion Cheteshwar Pujara trapped plumb on the pads with a delivery that tailed in late. England’s all-time leading wicket-taker had his second scalp soon after with Shikhar Dhawan edging one to gully after a tumultuous stay at the crease.

That wicket meant India were reduced to 22 for three in their chase of 245 with the hosts sniffing blood.

Anderson struck two huge blows for England early on day four.

KOHLI AND RAHANE LEAD INDIA’S FIGHTBACK

In keeping with the script of the match, a further twist was in store despite India’s top-order collapse. Skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane came together after the early damage and reignited India’s hopes with a century stand between them.

Kohli looked to be in the zone as he went after any loose delivery on offer despite the odd ball giving him a scare. He survived a contentious leg-before decision against Moeen Ali while batting on nine before going past 500 runs in the series.

Rahane, on the other hand, looked resolute for the most part as he kept one end steady for India. Both the batsmen notched up their respective half-centuries and while they were there together at the crease, an India win was looking very much the likely outcome.

Kohli and Rahane gave India hope with a 101-run partnership.

MOEEN ALI SPINS ENGLAND TO VICTORY

Just when India had started to dream of pulling off a famous overseas chase, Moeen Ali turned hero for England once again with the ball.

The all-rounder’s five-wicket haul had brought the hosts roaring back in the first innings and in the second, he provided the crucial breakthrough just when England desperately needed it.

Moments before lunch, the off-spinner saw Alastair Cook drop a sharp chance off Kohli’s bat.

However, he would not be denied in the very next delivery with the ball kissing the edge off Kohli’s bat before lobbing off the pads into the hands of Cook who made no mistake this time.

Post lunch, Ali extinguished Rishab Pant’s brief counter-attack after having the India wicketkeeper caught in the deep.

When he trapped Rahane leg-before wicket for 51, the match had well and truly turned England’s way. Moeen though, wasn’t done yet, as he claimed the wicket of Mohammed Shami to complete a nine-wicket haul in the match.

His superb display in the Test drew flashbacks to his 6-67 against the same opponents at the very same venue in 2014.

Moeen Ail’s off-spin proved to be the difference once again.

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Ajinkya Rahane James Anderson Moeen Ali Stuart Broad