Nottingham: Michael Vaughan's second successive Test hundred anchored England's reply to India's 357 at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
At tea on the third day of the second Test, England was 201 for one, a deficit of 156, with Vaughan making a Test best 130 not out and Mark Butcher 43 not out. Vaughan, 31 not out at lunch, failed by just a single to score 100 runs in the session. He had faced 166 balls including 16 fours with Butcher, offering solid support, unbeaten off 99 balls with six boundaries. Vaughan's fourth Test hundred in all was the 27-year-old Yorkshire opener's third this season alone. In the second innings of England's series opening, 170 run win at Lord's, he made 100 while, prior to that, he made 115, also in the second innings at Lord's, during England's drawn first Test against Sri Lanka. Such was his command on Saturday that he offered only one chance when he deflected a delivery from spinner Harbhajan Singh down the leg side. However, India's 17-year- old debutant wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel spilled the chance. As it had done at Lord's, India again looked a pace bowler light in the absence of the Test-retired Javagal Srinath. And its cause was not helped before this match when world-class leg spinner Anil Kumble withdrew because of a calf injury with batsman Virender Sehwag's part-time off-spin a long way from being an adequate substitute. Such was his bowlers' lack of penetration that India captain Saurav Ganguly brought on star stroke player Sachin Tendulkar to bowl some gentle seamers and he even called upon his bowling ability but his two overs went for 23 runs. But Harbhajan Singh was unlucky not to capture Butcher's wicket when the left-hander had made just seven, the off spinner failing to cling on to a diving caught and bowled chance off a mistimed drive. Meanwhile Vaughan seized on anything loose. His most spectacular stroke was a violent pull off medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar, still as ineffectual as he was at Lord's, which went straight down the ground for four. Vaughan, playing his 21st Test, reached his hundred with two off Ganguly and, next ball, the 100 partnership between Vaughan and Butcher came up off 133 balls. England, 46 without loss at lunch, had added 10 runs when it lost its first wicket. Test debutant Robert Key had made 17 when, trying to pull left-arm quick Ashish Nehra, he played on after the ball deflected off both bat and pad. Earlier Harbhajan's dashing 54 off 37 balls, including 10 fours, helped India, 302 for eight overnight, to its healthy total. His valuable innings was eventually ended by pace bowling Test debutant Steve Harmison, England captain Nasser Hussain taking the easy catch at mid-off. Last man Nehra (0) lasted just two balls before he was caught behind by wicket- keeper Alec Stewart off Matthew Hoggard, the Yorkshire paceman leading England's attack with four for 105.
England makes a steady start, India 357 all out