Dravid, Gambhir put India in command (Lunch Report)

December 20th, 2008 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali, Dec 20 (IANS) Rahul Dravid resurrected his career with his 26th Test century and along with Gautam Gambhir scored briskly as India made 302 for one in their first innings at lunch on the second day of the second cricket Test against England here Saturday.Dravid was batting on 124 and Gambhir on 167 as India scored 123 runs in 33 overs in the first session in overcast conditions at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium. Play started started 30 minutes ahead of schedule to make up for the loss of overs on the first day.

Resuming at 179/1, Gambhir set the tone with two boundaries off a wayward Monty Panesar over and Dravid welcomed the new ball with consecutive fours as James Anderson offered room outside the off stump.

Dravid scored rapidly but unconvincingly to move to the 90s. He finally got to his hundred off the 261st delivery he faced, flicking Anderson to fine leg as the sparse Mohali crowd gave him a standing ovation. The Indian dressing and the England players also applauded Dravid, who himself remained subdued and just raised his bat to acknowledge the cheers.

It was Dravid’s fourth century against England and only his second in 2008.

Gambhir also crossed the 150-run mark by hitting two consecutive fours of Graeme Swann in the 30th over of the morning session. He also crossed the 1,000-run mark in Tests in 2008.

England captain Kevin Pietersen tried every trick to get early wickets but none of them succeeded. In a short span of the first 10 overs of the day, Pietersen used five of his bowlers - Stuart Broad, Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar and James Anderson.

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