England strike to claim three wickets at Lord’s (Lunch report)

July 25th, 2011 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar London, July 25 (IANS) India’s hopes of drawing the first cricket Test rest on an ailing Sachin Tendulkar after England took a big step toward victory, claiming three important wickets in the morning session at Lord’s here Monday.

At lunch, India were 142/4 with Tendulkar (7), who could not field for two sessions Sunday because of a viral infection, and Suresh Raina (4) at the crease.

Tendulkar’s knock off 15 balls included a flick off James Anderson that raced to midwicket fence.

Anderson, who has struggled to find the right line and length in the match, struck twice Monday morning, dismissing the well-settled Rahul Dravid (36) and V.V.S. Laxman (56).

Gautam Gambhir, who hurt his elbow Sunday, came out after Dravid edged an innocous delivery to wicketkeeper, hung on for 56 balls before Graeme Swann trapped him lbw with a straighter one.

Resuming at 80/1, overnight batsmen Dravid and Laxman, who batted with sublime ease Sunday, could add only 14 runs before being separated.

It was a momentary lapse of concentration for Dravid, who till then had shown great resolve and patience in leaving anything remotely around his off stump during his 93-ball stay.

English pacers, too, were relentless in testing Dravid and Laxman around the off-stump. It paid off when Dravid poked at a widish Anderson delivery.

Laxman, who looked in great touch, was more cautious in approach, defending solidly.

He looked set for a big innings as he reached his half-century, but pulled a ball straight to Ian Bell at midwicket.

That brought Tendulkar to the crease to a rousing welcome from a full house.

India will be looking for a big knock from the maestro, who will have his last chance to score a century at Lord’s and also complete his hundred international centuries.

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