Ahemdabad: India claimed three quick wickets before tea but England still enjoyed the upper hand on the fourth day of the second Test in Ahemdabad on Friday.
Harbhajan Singh dismissed Mark Ramprakash and opener Mark Butcher while Anil Kumble sent back Andrew Flintoff in the final overs of the post-lunch session as England slumped from 178 for two to 183 for five at tea. England, which enjoys a 116-run first innings lead, is ahead by 299 runs.
Butcher, who had batted patiently throughout, missed his century by eight runs when Rahul Dravid caught him off Harbhajan on 92. His dismissal brought the tea break.Harbhajan had earlier broken the 112-run second wicket partnership between Butcher and skipper Nasser Hussain, which threatened to take the game away from India.
Virender Sehwag caught Hussain on 50 when England's score was 133.Butcher and Mark Ramprakash added 45 runs for the third wicket before the slide started. Ramprakash, who made 19, attempted a sweep off Harbhajan and the resultant top-edge flew to leg-slip where Sachin Tendulkar took an easy catch.
In the next over, Kumble clean bowled Flintoff with a googly that took the inside edge of the bat before crashing into the stumps. Flintoff made only four runs.Then in the last over before tea, Butcher, who was playing for the break, went for a cut but the ball took the top edge of his bat and went to Dravid at first slip.
The three wickets gave the Indians some hope of a comeback into the match after England had taken a firm control through its second wicket partnership.