India's miracle hope at Eden Gardens ends in defeat

England eye first series win in 28 years

England survived some jitters against the Indian spinners before coasting to a seven-wicket victory in the third Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.

Indian spinners jolted England who lost three early wickets on the final morning before taking an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series.

Ian Bell and Nick Compton steered England to deny the hosts what would have been a miraculous comeback victory.

Bell remained unbeaten on 28 with four boundaries while Compton also struck a four during their unbroken fourth wicket stand of 33.

India's batting hero Ravichanran Ashwin struck in the first over when he removed England skipper Alistair Cook stumped by MS Dhoni.

Jonathan Trott was the next to go trapped leg before by Pragyan Ojha.

Ashwin struck a double blow when he got the scalp of Kevin Pietersen who was caught behind for a duck.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 239 for 9, India just added 8 runs before being bowled out in the second over of the day.

Ashwin remained unbeaten on 91 being largely responsible for India avoiding the humiliation of an innings defeat after their 10-wicket loss in Mumbai.

James Anderson dismissed Pragyan Ojha as England bowled out India for 247 in their second innings with a meagre lead of 40 runs.

Ashwin started off the last day's play in style, smashing Steven Finn for two boundaries in the first over to complete their half-century stand.

Ironically Virender Sehwag was optimistic enough to say that only a miracle can save India after lambasting the the players for their batting debacle on the fourth day.

"We can just hope that something happens tomorrow and we're able to draw the Test. Only god can help us."

"If you apply yourself on this wicket, it's not that difficult to score runs. It's Test cricket and you have to show some patience. Yes you can say that (we did not show enough patience). The key was the patience," Sehwag told reporters after the fourth day's play.

"We need to give bowlers a few more runs," said a disappointed Indian skipper Dhoni at the post-match presentation.

"We haven't scored consistently over 300. On this wicket we should have scored 450 or above. The batsmen who got starts didn't make it matter. In the second innings, it was like a landslide we couldn't stop."

Having come under fire for insisting on spin friendly tracks which boomeranged on the hosts in Mumbai, Dhoni was hopeful of bouncing back to level the series in the final Test.

"We have everything to play for in Nagpur. Everybody needs to pull up their socks. Of course the better team won. They bowled in the right areas they fielded well. They played well but we need to retaliate."

England skipper Cook praised everyone for a wonderful team as the visitors eyes go into the final Test looking to seal a first series win in India in 28 years.

"To keep India to 300 on that wicket was a great effort. Credit to all the hard work we have out in," said Cook.

He admitted to having some apprehension when India got off to a flying start in their second innings after conceding a massive lead in the first innings.

"Credit to the way Sehwag and Gambhir played. We knew we needed to strike early, that's what Graeme Swann did," he said.

Virender Sehwag (49) and Gautam Gambhir (40) put on 86 runs but the innings completely came apart after the lunch break with wickets falling with embarrassing ease on a track which gave some assistance to the bowlers.

Cook was modest about his individual contribution after making a monumental 190 to become the youngest player to cross the 7,000-mark in Test with his 23rd century.

"Nice to contribute to the team success. To score runs out here you need to bat long period. I needed some luck," he said.

But the 28-year old's main target is glory for England.

"We have to recover well, this win has taken a lot out of us. We will try to win the series in Nagpur, we can't be complacent," he said with determination.

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