England makes a steady start, India 357 all out
Published: Saturday, August 10, 2002, 23:44 [IST]
Harbhajan slams 2nd fastest Test 50, India 357 all out
Nottingham: Harbhajan Singh's dashing 54 helped India into a healthy position on the third day of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge on Saturday. At lunch England was 46 without loss in reply to India's 357, a deficit of 311. Test debutant Robert Key was 14 not out and Michael Vaughan 31 not out. Earlier, in partnership with number 10 Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan put on a rapid 61 in 62 balls for the ninth wicket. India, resuming on 302 for eight, soon forgot about Andrew Flintoff's session opening maiden. The next five overs yielded 33 runs as Harbhajan, better known as one of world cricket's leading off spinners, made the most of some wayward English bowling. Harbhajan (13 not out overnight) began the run scoring when he deliberately opened his blade to run Matthew Hoggard for four through the gap between third slip and gully. Next ball a mistimed drive flew through the same area for four more. Harbhajan then started to cash in with shots worthy of a top-order batsman. He turned Hoggard off his legs for four through mid-wicket and then drove Flintoff straight for another boundary. And then Harbhajan produced a magnificent wristy flick off his legs against Flintoff as the boundary count continued to climb. A slightly fortuitous cut off Craig White then brought up Harbhajan's second Test fifty. However, he deserved some luck, Harbhajan's runs coming off 33 balls including nine fours. But soon afterwards England pace bowling debutant Steve Harmison ended Harbhajan's valuable innings. Harbhajan had just cut Harmison for his 10th four when, off the Durham quick's third delivery of the morning, a checked drive looped gently to England captain Nasser Hussain closing in from mid-off. It was Harmison's third wicket of the innings, the 23-year-old finishing with creditable figures of 20-7-57-3. Last man Ashish Nehra (0) lasted just two balls before he was caught behind by Stewart off Hoggard, the Yorkshire seamer leading England's attack with four for 105. Zaheer was 14 not out. In the second over of England's reply, India was convinced it had Key (3) caught behind by fellow Test debutant Parthiv Patel, at 17 the youngest keeper in Test history, off Zaheer. But, despite left-arm quick's prolonged appeal, South African umpire Rudi Koertzen ruled in the batsman's favour and replays confirmed the correctness of his decision.