England tour of India - Cricket: England plays steady to reach 176/3
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2001, 20:32 [IST]
1st session under lights, Eng 82 for 2
Bangalore: The relaid pitch held no devils. The Indians had a bit of struggle on hand as England reached 176 for three off at tea on the first day of the third and final Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday. Michael Vaughan (56) and Mark Ramprakash (33) were holding fort as England hopes to consolidate on the good start.With the Indian spinners unable to gain any predictable purchase from the wicket, the Indians had to depend on medium pacer Javagal Srinath to get the break through. Srinath obliged by getting rid off skipper Nasser Hussain caught behind by wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta.But for that lone success, the Indians didnt reap any rewards in the second session of play. Local hero Anil Kumble was tantalisingly poised at 299 Test wickets and waiting to snare the one wicket to reach the elite 300 club. England, having won the toss, had reached 82 for two off 26 overs with skipper Nasser Hussain on 41 and Michael Vaughan on four. India banking heavily on its spin force introduced spin at both ends after the first hour of play. With off spinner Sharandeep Singh coming in for Tinu Yohannan, Saurav Ganguly opened the bowling with Javagal Srinath. The overcast conditions as well as the light drizzle helped seaming bowling and Javagal Srinath made the best use of conditions to give an early break through. Trescothick, who had been swishing outside the off stump, guided a straight forward catch to V V S Laxman at second slip. Hussain and his men seemed to have prepared themselves for tackling the Indian spin force. Hussain, who launched into a Srinath bouncer for a six, showed his aggressive intent the moment Harbhajan was introduced into the attack. Hussain stepped out the very first ball, but was fortunate as he completely missed the line and was rapped on the pads. The wicket has so far held true and anything overpitched was smashed to the fence with the ball speeding away on the fast outfield. The 'sweet' timing of the ball striking the bat could be heard nearly 100 yards away at the second floor press box.India was fortunate to get the second wicket through a run out. Left- handed Butcher played Harbhajan, bowling from around the wicket, to the cover region and charged down the wicket. Skipper Nasser Hussain didnt respond and Butcher failed to beat the accurate throw from Dravid to wicket-keeper Dasgupta, who broke the stumps. The Indians made a change by bringing in the second off spinner Sharandeep Singh into the squad. Sharandeep replaced Tinu Yohannan in the only change that the Indians made in the squad.