England confirmed their status as the best team in the world after they recorded a handsome 4-0 series win over India by winning the fourth Test by an innings and 8 runs at The Oval.
The match loooked destined to end in a draw halfway through the day but an inspired spell by Graeme Swann turned the tide as India lost seven wickets for just 21 runs to crumble to 283 all out.
Sachin Tendulkar was denied his hundredth international century despite surviving three close calls. The all-time leading Test run-scorer was the subject of a stumping on Sunday that England failed to appeal for and was dropped twice – by Alastair Cook and Matt Prior – as he inched twards the landmark. However, Tim Bresnan broke his heart when he trapped him lbw for 91.
Amit Mishra had done an excellent job in keeping the Little Master company at the crease but he fell just before for an impressive 84 and the loss of those two wickets precipitated the kind of collapse that used to be the trademark of English cricket in the dark days of the 1990’s. None of the batsmen numbered 6 to 11 managed to get into double figures with Suresh Raine earning himself a pair of ducks – albeit harshly after being given out lbw despite an inside edge.
Swann ended the day with 6 for 106 but it was Ian Bell who was awarded the Man of the Match award for his 235 in England’s innings while Stuart Broad was named Man of the Series for his exceptional displays with both the bat and ball.