KOLKATA: England overcame India's minor resistance on the final day of the third Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata to wrap up a seven-wicket win to lead the series 2-1 on Sunday.
India started the day on 239 for nine but could not last for much longer as James Anderson dismissed Pragyan Ojha to give England a target of just 41 runs to win the match. However, England's top order collapse, which saw them at 8-3 in just five overs, gave India a glimmer of hope which was dashed by Ian Bell who steadied England and led them to the winning total.
Earlier, captain Alastair Cook was stumped by MS Dhoni off Ravi Ashwin's delivery as Jonathan Trott fell to Ojha after making three runs and Kevin Pietersen was dismissed by Ashwin.
If England win the final Test in Nagpur, they will be the first tourists in India to win a Test series since 2004 and the first England side to win a series in India since 1985.
India captain Dhoni lamented his side's batting, saying the hosts have everything to play for Nagpur.
"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. 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 area,s they fielded well. They played well but we need to retaliate," he said.
Meanwhile, Cook, who was also named man of the match, said England will need to recover well for the final Test as this win had required a lot of effort and hard work.
"Everyone performed," said Cook.
"To keep India to 300 on that wicket was a great effort. Credit to all the hard work we have out in. It was a touch morning session yesterday. Credit to the way Sehwag and Gambhir played. We knew we needed to strike early, that's what Graeme Swann did. Nice to contribute to the team success. To score runs out here you need to bat long period. I needed some luck. We have to recover well, this win has taken a lot out of us. A big thank you to the Barmy Army, it means a long for us. This is long way from home, we need all the support. We will try to win the series in Nagpur, we can't be complacent."