England wrap up Test series against India at Ageas Bowl

England's Moeen Ali celebrates the wicket of India's Ajinkya Rahane during day four of the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: PA Images
England's Moeen Ali celebrates the wicket of India's Ajinkya Rahane during day four of the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: PA Images

England wrapped up the Test series against India with a match to spare at the Ageas Bowl.

On a thrilling fourth day of action, Joe Root's men delivered a 60-run victory to take an insurmountable 3-1 lead into the final Test at the Oval.   

Both sides enjoyed spells on top during the first two sessions, before England took the initiative after tea..

Moeen Ali was again the scourge of the tourists, finishing with second-innings figures of four for 71 and nine for 144 in the match.

England resumed the morning on 260 for eight but could only add a further11 runs to their overnight total.

Stuart Broad was dismissed with the very first ball for a golden duck. He needlessly playing at a wide Mohammed Shami delivery and edged behind to the wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.

Sam Curran, the saviour of England's first innings, again added crucial late runs.

He resumed on 38 not out and played some classy early shots.

However, the hosts' second innings was curtailed when Curran was ran out for 46.

England were all out for 271, setting India a winning target of 245.

Yet Joe Root's bowlers were fired up and swiftly rattled through India's top-three batsman.

Broad (one for 23) sent Lokesh Rahul back to the pavilion for a seventh-ball duck by knocking over his stumps and he was followed by Cheteshwar Pujara (five), who was trapped lbw by Jimmy Anderson (two for 33).

England's all-time leading wicket-taker grabbed his second scalp when Shikhar Dhawan (17) nicked one to Ben Stokes at third slip. 

Virat Kohli (58) and Ajinkya Rahane (51) were forced to anchor India's innings – although both survived close early lbw appeals, with the latter having one overturned following a DRS review.

The pair brought up a century partnership and put India firmly in the driving seat.

However, it was Ali who crucially broke up their 101-run stand when he had skipper Kohli caught at short mid-on by Alistair Cook.

Hardik Pandya survived just seven balls before being dismissed by Ben Stokes (two for 34) without scoring, while Pant's entertaining 18 was brought to an end by Cook's good catch in the deep off Ali.

The off-spinner, recalled for the Test after impressing for Worcestershire, then got the wicket to firmly swing the pendulum in England's favour.

He trapped Rahane lbw shortly after the batsman reached his half-century – and England could sense victory was on the cards.

Ali claimed his ninth wicket of the match when Shami (eight) skied a shot to Anderson at long-on. 

And the Three Lions claimed the series win with a Test remaining when Ravichandran Ashwin (25) flurry was ended after being caught lbw by Curran (one for one).