Dravid ends 15 year wait but Broad gives England advantage (Roundup)

July 24th, 2011 - 2:07 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar London, July 24 (IANS) A 15-year old dream was realised Saturday as Rahul Dravid struck his maiden century at Lord’s taking India to a respectable 286, in response to England’s 474 for eight declared, on the third day of the first Test here Saturday.

On his debut, Dravid fell short by five runs from scoring a century at Lord’s, but on Saturday the 38-year-old finally fulfilled the long cherished dream with an unbeaten 103, his 33rd Test century.

England ended the day with a lead of 193, thanks to a resurgent Stuart Broad, who picked up four for 37.

Broad, who was in risk of missing the 100th Test match between the two countries, re-discovered his length and swing and was instrumental in giving England a 188-run first innings lead.

England captain Andrew Strauss and (3) and Alastair Cook then led the hosts to five for no loss in the second innings at stumps.

The match was built around the hype of Sachin Tendulkar’s pursuit of 100th international century in the 2000th Test match, but it was Dravid who achieved what the legend could not. Dravid’s century also completed a century of centuries in Tests among him, Tendulkar and Laxman.

India started the day with openers Abhinav Mukund (49) and Gautam Gambhir (15) 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 his 100th international century. V.V.S. Laxman (10) gifted his wicket to Chris Tremlett and Suresh Raina didn’t trouble the scorers.

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

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 debut memories, 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.

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 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.

Dravid and Dhoni (28) played some risk-free cricket in the third session prompting Strauss to take the new ball with India poised at 235 for five.

The new ball did its trick immediately as Tremlett picked up Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh in successive deliveries. Praveen Kumar played a cameo of a 13-ball 17 before being Broad’s fourth wicket while Anderson wrapped up the tail by picking up Ishant Sharma.

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