Crowd beats drum, Eng 325/7 at lunch

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore: It was another fruitful session at office for England having reached 325 for seven in the first innings at lunch on the second day of the third and final Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.

Wicket-keeper James Foster was batting on 45 and Ashley Giles on 22.Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly straight away began the second day"s operations with the second new ball under another day of overcast skies. Though, it was not dark enough to render the flood lights on.

Ganguly once again operated with the new ball in the company of Srinath.Despite a cold breeze bowling across, the Indian bowlers had to toil hard to achieve the break throughs as England appeared to be heading towards a commanding position. Javagal Srinath reaped the lone success of the morning and the much awaited 300th wicket of Anil Kumble still remained elusive.

A barrage of short pitched deliveries from Srinath paid its dividend with Craig White playing awkwardly for a diving Shiv Sunder Das to pick up the catch at forward short leg. James Foster, who overwhelmed his previous best of 40 at Ahemdabad, was batting with a lot of maturity in the company of Giles.

The three Indian spinners – Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Sharandeep Singh – once again failed to make any impression. Kumble, however, looked unlucky on one occasion when a confident appeal for a catch at forward short leg was turned down. TV replays showed the ball might have gone off bat and boot to the forward short leg fielder.

There was more excitement in the eastern stands where the crowd had a gala time beating a drum. England has reached a stage from where it can definitely call the shots. The new pitch for all the hype has played true and some fine strokes were played off over pitched deliveries. The Indians perhaps missed the services of a genuine fifth bowler.

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