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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Team Effort Boosts England Over India

BIRMINGHAM, England -- England won the first Test against India by eight wickets after terrific team efforts in the field restricted India's batting performances to 214 and 219.


After a first innings 313 featuring a century by man-of-the-match Nasser Hussain, England needed only 121 runs for victory, which were reached with the loss of two wickets Sunday, captain Mike Atherton being unbeaten on 53.


Atherton has good reason to be extremely happy with the new look team, which included three recalled and three uncapped Test players. "We decided we needed to pick a good fielding side, which meant a few fresh legs and young faces," Atherton said after the victory. "We caught everything that came our way, which was very influential in our victory. We've won this one, we need to win two, and that's our aim," he added.


Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin said he was happy with the performance of his bowlers, but the top-order batsmen let the team down.


"We won the toss and batted but didn't apply ourselves. You have to have a big score to win," said Azharuddin, who failed in both innings. "We lost quick wickets early in both innings and it's hard to come back when your top batsmen are out," he added.


Hussain, Chris Lewis and Nick Knight each justified their recall into the England side. Hussain was asked to fill the problematic No. 3 position, which had seen six different batsmen fail in the past seven Tests, and he responded by scoring 128 in the first innings, described by Atherton as a "fantastic century."


Lewis has never been a consistent Test bowler, but he was responsible for India's second innings collapse taking five for 72, finishing the Test with seven for 116.


Opening batsman Knight failed to go on after two confident starts, but he held four catches in the match, one a superb low diving effort to dismiss Azharuddin in the first innings.


New cap Alan Mullally dismissed Azharuddin twice and finished with wickets for 103. All-rounder Ronnie Irani, also new to Test cricket, failed to impress with the ball but contributed a powerful 34 runs off 34 balls in the first innings.


Atherton said changes to the line-up for the second Test at Lord's June 20 to 24 were unlikely. Sachin Tendulkar was the outstanding Indian player, scoring a majestic 128 in the second innings as India faced defeat.


Opening bowler Javagal Srinath and Test newcomer Venkatash Prasad took four wickets each in the first innings and proved they are capable of bowling England out.


India have a four-day match against Derbyshire June 13 to 16 to prepare for the second Test.