Broad picks up three as England strengthen grip on Lord’s Test (Tea Report)

July 23rd, 2011 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar London, July 23 (IANS) Fast bowler Stuart Broad sprung back to form with three crucial wickets, including that of Sachin Tendulkar, but Rahul Dravid waged a fight-back with an unbeaten 59 as India were left struggling at 193 for five in the first innings, in response to England’s 474 for eight declared, at tea on the third day of the first cricket Test at Lord’s here Saturday.

Broad re-discovered his length and swing by dismissing openers Abhinav Mukund (49), Gautam Gambhir (15) and dashed hopes of a billion Indian fans, who were eager to see Tendulkar score his 100th international century in the 100th Test between the two countries.

Giving Dravid company at tea was India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (4 not out) and the duo were staring at a Herculean task of saving a follow-on as India still trail by 281 runs.

India started the day with Mukund and Gambhir leaving deliveries cautiously and showing the full blade only to the fuller deliveries.

But Broad produced an excellent delivery to get rid of Gambhir and then induced Mukund with an away going delivery that the inexperienced southpaw dragged onto his stumps, as India made 102 for two after the first session’s play.

England firmed their grip on the match in the second session, during which Broad ended Tendulkar’s pursuit of getting to the magical figure of 100th international century in the 2000th Test match. V.V.S. Laxman (10) gifted his wicket to Chris Tremlett and Suresh Raina didn’t trouble the scorers.

In stark contrast to un-yielding and a cracking first session’s play, the second session was a one-sided affair despite Dravid’s gutso.

Dravid and Tendulkar raised hopes with their 81-run stand for the third wicket. They threatened to take away the match from England with their wonderful strokeplays.

Tendulkar started the session with two boundaries off Anderson’s first over. His sixth boundary, piercing the infield with a fine cover drive, came off the 36th delivery he faced.

The 50 partnership came quickly, with Dravid also displaying crisp timing. The former India captain revived 15-year-old memories of his 95 here on debut, by guiding Tremlett effortlessly to the third man boundary and milked Anderson for three boundaries in four deliveries, each one an example of perfect timing.

But it was the re-introduction of Broad that did the damage as the tall pacer invited Tendulkar to a drive and the batting maestro edged to Graeme Swann at second slip.

Dravid survived a big appeal for a catch in the next over of Swann and in the following over Broad underwent the agony of two dropped catches that would have surely packed up the proceedings for India. England captain Andre Strauss dropped a sitter as Laxman was spared the ignominy of being out for a duck and in the last ball Dravid edged that fell just inches short of Swann at second slip.

Dravid’s brought up his half-century in 98 balls but Laxman could not make the most of the life and lifted Tremlett tamely to fine leg to depart for 10.

Suresh Raina, who was promoted ahead of Dhoni, survived two balls before Swann trapped him leg before for a duck.

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