Ahmedabad: India completed a nine-wicket win on day five to take a 1-0 series lead over England in the four-Test series, spurred on by a dramatic morning session and a brisk innings from Cheteshwar Pujara post lunch. Their bowlers snapped up England's last five wickets for 66 runs in the morning session to dismiss the visitors for 406, thereby setting themselves a target of 77. Pujara – opening the innings in Gautam Gambhir’s absence – hastened victory with 41 off 51 balls while Virender Sehwag hit 25 off 21 balls.
Pujara set the tone by carving Graeme Swann for a couple of boundaries in the second over, both time getting his wrists into play to whip away deliveries from outside off stump through midwicket with finesse. Sehwag began by cracking Swann for a boundary through covers, and blasted a full toss from Samit Patel for six in the next over. Pujara then flayed Swann for a boundary through cover in the sixth over.
India reached 50 in the eighth over as Sehwag drilled Swann to long-off for a single, but became his 45th Test wicket of 2012 when he was caught at long-on by Kevin Pietersen. The winning runs came when Virat Kohli punched Swann to long-on in the 16th over.
Earlier, resuming from their overnight total of 340 for 5, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior negotiated the first hour of the day with resolve. Prior moved into the 90s by reeling off a square drive off Zaheer Khan in the third, while Cook got his first boundary of the day by clattering the same bowler for a boundary to long leg. In the process, Cook established the record of highest score by an English batsman after following-on in Tests, eclipsing Ken Barrington's 172.
Pragyan Ojha finally broke the marathon partnership of 157 for the sixth wicket by taking a return catch from Prior (91) in the 10th over. Prior was undone by a delivery which came slowly off the pitch and, early into his shot, ended up spooning a simple caught-and-bowled. It was the second time in Tests that Prior had fallen in the nineties. Ojha snagged his ninth wicket of the match by castling Cook in his 51stover. The England captain played back to a ball which kept low, dipped in sharply to brush his pads and rattled the stumps. He made 176 off 374 balls with 21 boundaries.
Stuart Broad went next, driving a return catch to Umesh Yadav. Swann unfurled a couple of adventurous strokes - a slog-sweep off Ojha for six and a reverse-sweep off R Ashwin for four - to take England past 400, but became Ashwin's first wicket of the innings when he was bowled when trying a switch-hit. Zaheer prised out Tim Bresnan in the next over – driving a half-volley to short cover - and England were all out for 406.