Mohali: India grabbed three vital wickets in the post-lunch session to halt England's progress on the opening day of the first cricket Test in Mohali on Monday.England, which resumed after lunch on 107 for one, lost Marcus Trescothick, Graham Thorpe and skipper Nasser Hussain in quick time before going to tea on 207 for four.At the break, Mark Ramprakash was unbeaten on 14, while Andrew Flintoff was on four.
Tinu Youhanna bowled Trescothick, who put on 125 for the second wicket with Hussain after Mark Butcher had fallen in the days first over, for 66.It was the second wicket for Youhanna, one of the three debutant seamers fielded by the hosts, after he had Butcher caught at second slip by Venkat Sai Laxman off the fourth ball of the innings.
Left-handed Thorpe made 23 when he fell to another newcomer, Iqbal Siddiqui, hanging his bat out to an out swinger to give Laxman his second catch at second slip.The crucial blow came shortly before tea when Hussain was snapped up at silly point by Laxman off leg spinner Anil Kumble for 85.The England captain looked in supreme touch with 13 boundaries and a six, before Kumble denied him a 10th Test century.Earlier, England survived the first-over setback to post 107 for one by lunch.
Trescothick and Hussain scoffed at Indian captain Saurav Ganguly's decision to field first on a greenish wicket with a brisk stand.England smashed 21 boundaries in the morning session, seven of them by Trescothick against India's main threat, Kumble.
Siddiqui and the third debutant seamer Sanjay Bangar failed to contain the runs once the early morning moisture in the wicket evaporated.India decided to pick newcomer Bangar as the opening batting partner for Shiv Das so that two spinners, Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, could back three seamers.England blooded wicket-keeper James Foster and off spinner Richard Dawson and played both all-rounders Craig White and Flintoff.