India on back foot, still needs 112 to avoid follow on

Published: Saturday, July 27, 2002, 23:40 [IST]
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London: England's bowlers claimed the crucial scalp of Indian star Sachin Tendulkar to leave the home side in control at lunch on the third day of the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

At the interval India was 176 for five in reply to England's 487, a deficit of 311 and still 112 runs short of the follow-on total of 288. India captain Saurav Ganguly was five not out and Venkat Sai Laxman eight not out. Tendulkar was fifth out for 16 when he edged an intended cut off an inswinging delivery from recalled all-rounder Craig White and saw wicket-keeper Alec Stewart, in an England record 119th Test, claim the simple catch.

He faced 61 balls with just two boundaries. England's disciplined performance on a lifeless pitch was all the more impressive as it was without injured first-choice quicks Darren Gough, Andrew Caddick and Alex Tudor. Tendulkar rode his luck early on. In the first full over of the day, facing his third ball and still on nought, he chose not to play at a delivery from England debutant fast bowler Simon Jones. The ball struck Tendulkar on the body and then narrowly bounced over the stumps. And Tendulkar had more good fortune on 10 when Jones, bowling from around the wicket this time, induced an outside edge which Graham Thorpe dropped at first slip as the ball died on him. Fortunately for Thorpe it was not a costly mistake and the 23-year-old Jones, in his first match at Lord's, had to content himself with a lively opening spell of five overs for 14 runs.

All the England pace bowlers varied their angle of attack by coming around the wicket. And with England captain Nasser Hussain deploying some imaginative field settings India's batsmen could not break free. Tendulkar made a cautious start, taking 20 balls to score his first boundary when he turned Jones off his legs for four. Dravid then struck the first ball from Jones' replacement, Matthew Hoggard, to the cover rope. It was the patient batsman's first boundary in 111 balls. But four short of a half- century Dravid was surprised by a sharply lifting delivery from Yorkshire quick Hoggard that he could only fend to the bowler's county colleague Michael Vaughan in the gully.

Dravid's 46 had come off 162 balls including six fours in an innings lasting one minute short of four hours, India now 162 for four in the 54th over. India resumed on 130 for three off 36.4 overs with Dravid 33 not out. Tendulkar had yet to start batting after night watchman Ashish Nehra (nought) was dismissed off the last ball of Friday's play.

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