Harbhajan scalps 7-wickets, Essex bowled out for 279

Published: Saturday, August 17, 2002, 3:16 [IST]
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Chelmsford (England): Off spinner Harbhajan Singh sent out a warning to England batsmen ahead of the third Test at Headingley as he captured seven wickets against Essex on the penultimate day of the four-day match on Friday.

After Shiv Sunder Das' monumental double-century effort, it was the turn of the wily offie to grab attention as he finished with an impressive seven for 83 and helped bowl out the Essex side for 279. With a cushion of a huge 343-run lead behind them, the Indians decided not to impose a follow on and opted for some batting practice instead.

Indians negotiated the two remaining overs before lunch without losing any wicket. Parthiv Patel and Sanjay Bangar, who opened the innings in place of first innings pair Virender Sehwag and Shiv Sunder Das, were yet to open their account. Though the Indians were happy to see Das back among runs following his 250 on Thursday, captain Saurav Ganguly is still worried over his medium-pacer brigade, which was evident when he did not ask Tinu Yohannan and Ajit Agarkar to bowl in the morning.

After claiming two wickets on Thursday, Harbhajan Singh bowled unchanged in the morning to return with 14-3-45-5. Ganguly was disappointed with Harbhajan's form in the second Test at Trent Bridge but the spinner responded truly well in conditions similar to back home.

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