1st Test: England vs India (Day 3)
Day 3 of the opening Test had clear weather grace London as India began on their quest to chase down a mammoth target set by England in their first innings.
Day 3 of the opening Test had clear weather grace London as India began on their quest to chase down a mammoth target set by England in their first innings. (All images courtesy AFP)
Abhinav Mukund and Gautam Gambhir began on a slow but steady note for the visitors and put together a partnership of 63 runs for the opening wicket.
The first breakthrough came when Stuart Broad fired one in to rattle the timber as Gambhir was removed on 15 with only a single boundary to his credit.
Mukund on the other end, continued to play with steady hands and struck 5 boundaries to send early warning signals for the opposition.
Broad however returned to remove Mukund, a run short of what would have been his second Test half-century. The bowler managed to hit the stumps once again.
In walked Sachin Tendulkar to join Rahul Dravid on the other end and the spectators gave him a rousing welcome to the middle. All hopes were pinned on him to complete his 100th international century.
For most parts of his innings, Tendulkar looked determined to reach the landmark and played in a manner that suited his legendary fame as India took lunch at 102/2.
Though the bowling was immaculate, England did suffer from the rare dropped catches as Dravid was put down by Graeme Swann early in his innings.
The second session had Tendulkar and Dravid rotate the strike consistently. The duo put together a partnership of 81 for the 3rd wicket.
It was complete heart-break though when the partnership was finally broken. Broad found the edge of Tendulkar's bat to remove him on 34, a century left to be made in another innings.
The long walk back to the pavilion was silently applauded by the crowd even though Sachin also failed to better his highest Test score at Lord's by 3 runs.
Dravid on the other hand kept his nerve and brought up his 61st Test half-century to battle on for India.
Two quick wickets did fall before the break for tea as Chris Tremlett struck to remove VVS Laxman on a personal score of 10.
In walked Suresh Raina and promptly surrendered to Graeme Swann without opening his account. He was caught leg before the wicket as India ended the second session on 193 for 5.
The final session of play though has tilted back in favour of India as Dravid and skipper MS Dhoni continue to hold ground and edge closer towards the target.
The two stitched together 57 runs for the 6th wicket before Dhoni was removed from the crease by Tremlett.
Tremlett punctured another hole immediately after, sending Harbhajan back for a duck to push India back again in what was reflective of a see-saw battle.
Dravid though, managed to bring up his 33rd Test century as India folded on 286. England were 5/0 at stumps with a lead of 193 in the second innings.