Moeen Ali (C) is the toast of his teammates after the England spinner took the wicket of Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India on the fifth day of the third Test at Rose Bowl in Southampton on Thursday. PHOTO: AFP
Moeen Ali spun England to victory as they ended a run of 10 Tests without a win by beating India by 266 runs in the third Test at Southampton on Thursday.
Ali took six for 67 in 20.4 overs, including a spell of four for 17 in 22 balls as England completed a crushing win that saw them level the five-match series at 1-1.
India, chasing what would have been a new fourth innings record winning total of 445, were bowled out for 178 before lunch on the fifth day.
After resuming on 112 for four, India collapsed as they lost their final six wickets for 66 runs inside 25 overs on Thursday, with only Ajinkya Rahane (52 not out) offering much in the way of resistance.
"It's been a really good week, I had a good feeling coming into it but we almost played the perfect game," under pressure England captain Alastair Cook told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.
"It does not mean we have cracked it but it was pretty good," added Cook, who put a run of low scores behind him by making 95 and 70 not out in this match.
"Moeen Ali's bowling has come on leaps and bounds this summer, he's fronted up to the responsibility, worked really hard and responded well.
"Getting six wickets to win the game, you couldn't ask for more and Jimmy bowled brilliantly."
Meanwhile India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni confirmed Ishant Sharma, the seven-wicket hero of their 95-run win in the second Test at Lord's, would not be fit for the fourth Test at Old Trafford starting on August 7 after missing this match through injury.
"Ishant Sharma definitely won't be fit for the fourth Test," Dhoni said.
India, 1-0 up after their 95-run win in the second Test at Lord's, resumed knowing the most any side had made in the fourth innings to win a Test is the 418 for seven by the West Indies against Australia at St John's in 2002-03.
Rahane was 18 not out and Rohit Sharma dropped on five by James Anderson after he put down a caught and bowled chance, six not out.
But India lost a wicket without adding to their score.
Player-of-the-match Anderson, who took five wickets in India's first innings, struck with his third ball Thursday when Sharma, feeling for the ball a long way outside off stump, was caught behind by Test debutant wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. And it was not long before the Lancashire duo combined again as Dhoni (six) was undone by an excellent full-length delivery that nipped away off the seam.
Anderson had taken two wickets for six runs in 12 balls, with India now 120 for six.