India crashes to 221 all out in the first innings
Published: Sunday, July 28, 2002, 2:20 [IST]
India on back foot, needs 112 to avoid follow on
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London: India was bowled out for 221 in reply to England's first innings 487 at tea on the third day of the first Test at Lord's on Saturday. Venkat Sai Laxman tried to fight back with 43 not out off 68 balls including five fours but could do nothing as wickets tumbled around him. India's total was 67 runs short of the follow-on target of 288 but England captain Nasser Hussain chose not to insert the tourists. Yorkshire quick Matthew Hoggard led a fine England bowling performance with three for 33. India, 176 for five at lunch, lost captain Saurav Ganguly (5) four balls afterwards when he steered former Lancashire teammate Andrew Flintoff to Michael Vaughan in the gully. New batsman Ajay Ratra took 21 balls to get off the mark. But three deliveries later he was out for one. Ratra gave England debutant fast bowler Simon Jones his first Test wicket when he edged a cut off a short-pitched delivery through to opposing wicket-keeper Alec Stewart. India was now 191 for seven. And five runs later Jones struck again, Ajit Agarkar (2) well taken low down at second slip by all-rounder Flintoff. It was just reward for Jones, 23, the son of former England quick Jeff, who twice almost took the prize wicket of master batsman Sachin Tendulkar. India's plight worsened when Anil Kumble played on to recalled all-rounder Craig White for an 11 ball duck as the tourists slumped to 209 for nine. The innings ended when last man Zaheer Khan (3) was caught in the slips by Thorpe off Hoggard. Earlier Tendulkar went cheaply, fifth out for 16, when he edged an intended cut off an inswinging delivery from White and saw Stewart, in an England record 119th Test, takes the simple catch. Tendulkar faced 61 balls with just two boundaries. He rode his luck early on. In the first full over of the day, facing his third ball and still on nought, he deliberately left delivery from Jones. It 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. Tendulkar, who did not bat on Friday after night watchman Ashish Nehra fell, began cautiously, taking 20 balls to score his first boundary. England's disciplined bowling performance on a lifeless pitch was all the more impressive as they were without injured first-choice quicks Darren Gough, Andrew Caddick and Alex Tudor. But White, Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard all had experience of bowling in similar conditions in India during the winter and each bowled well after India resumed on 130 for three. And with skipper Hussain deploying some imaginative field settings India's batsmen were well-shackled only eight fours conceded on Saturday. In the morning Rahul Dravid, 33 not out overnight, went for 46 after an innings a minute short of four hours, when he was caught in the gully by Vaughan off Hoggard.