Late wickets leave India struggling on Day 2

Published: Saturday, July 27, 2002, 5:45 [IST]
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London: Two late wickets left India in trouble on the second day of the first test of four against England here at Lord's on Friday. At stumps on the second day India were 130 for three in reply to England's 487, an imposing deficit of 357. Their position would have been stronger had Virender Sehwag (84) remained unbeaten. But he was unluckily bowled by left-arm spinner Ashley Giles after his drive deflected from bat to stumps via pad. That left India 128 for two and two runs later nightwatchman Ashish Nehra fell lbw for a duck to medium-pacer Andrew Flintoff off the last ball of the day. Sehwag had faced 96 balls including one six and 10 fours as he and Rahul Dravid (33 not out) put on 126 for the second wicket, batsmen on both sides enjoying themselves in the sunshine on a docile wicket. Flintoff had fine figures of 7.4-4-8-1, with the patient Dravid biding his time having already faced 115 balls. Earlier, England captain Nasser Hussain, 120 not out overnight, made 155 and there were valuable contributions down the order from all-rounders Flintoff (59) and Craig White (53). Fast bowler Simon Jones, on his Test debut, then made an impact at ten with a dashing 44. India's reply stalled as early as the fifth ball when Wasim Jaffer (one) was comprehensively bowled by Matthew Hoggard. But the introduction of Giles eased the pressure, 11 runs coming from his first over with ten to Dravid. Sehwag followed by flicking Giles for four, India's fifty up in 76 balls. Then two deliveries later Sehwag swept Giles for a soaring six. Meanwhile, Jones found bowling harder work than batting, Sehwag striking him for boundaries on both sides of the wicket. Dravid, by contrast, went 50 minutes without scoring. White, recalled ahead of Dominic Cork, justified his selection before he was last man out, stumped by Ajay Ratra off leg-spinner Anil Kumble. Left-arm quick Zaheer Khan finished with three for 90, Kumble three for 128. England lost Giles (19), bowled playing back to a full length delivery from Nehra, to be 390 for eight shortly after lunch It was the persevering left-arm paceman's only wicket of the innings, his 30 overs costing 101 runs. Glamorgan fast bowler Jones, 23, son of former England quick Jeff, was seemingly fearless, hitting Zaheer straight back over his head for a magnificent six. And Jones, who bats left-handed but bowls right, was equally effective against Kumble, steering him through point for four and then swotting him to the onside for another boundary. But two balls after he was dropped by Agarkar at long-on, Jones' bold innings ended when Kumble took the shoulder of his bat, the ball looping to Dravid at first slip. Jones faced just 43 balls including one six and seven fours, England adding 62 in 63 balls in an unexpectedly productive ninth-wicket stand. White maintained the tempo with a 66-ball fifty that featured a six and four fours before he was dismissed. By that stage medium-pacer Agarkar had taken two wickets in two balls, Flintoff and Hussain both caught behind. Flintoff's fifty came from a mere 57 balls including one six and nine fours before he played one static shot too many. Then, with the first ball of his next over, Agarkar had Hussain well-taken by Ratra. Giles avoided the hat-trick. Hussain faced 331 balls in a responsible innings of over seven hours which included 25 fours and revived England from the depths of 78 for three. Resuming with the score on 257 for four, wicket-keeper Alec Stewart, in an England-record 119th Test, went for his overnight score of 19, lbw to Zaheer.

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