Vaughan dominates Indian attack, England 341/5
Published: Saturday, August 17, 2002, 5:55 [IST]
Scorecard of Test 2 Day 3
Vaughan slams brilliant ton to take England to 201/1
Nottingham: Michael Vaughan's career-best 197 left the second Test of four between England and India intriguingly poised at Trent Bridge on Saturday. At stumps on the third day, England was 341 for five, a deficit of 16. Alec Stewart was 30 not out and Andrew Flintoff two not out when bad light surprisingly forced an early close with the sun shining at 18:01 GMT. But the day belonged to Vaughan, whose fourth Test hundred was also his third this season, the 27-year-old Yorkshire opener also making back-to-back centuries after his 100 in the second innings of England's 170-run first Test win over India last month. Prior to that he scored 115, also in the second innings at Lord's, during England's drawn first Test against Sri Lanka back in May. Vaughan had gone past his previous first-class best of 183 and seemed destined for a maiden Test double century. But having just stroked medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar for a superb cover driven four he was caught next ball by debutant Parthiv Patel. Vaughan had faced 258 balls including 23 boundaries in a commanding innings lasting four minutes short of six hours. Off spinner Harbhajan Singh, whose earlier quickfire 54 took India to a respectable 357, kept his side in the match with two wickets for five runs in six balls. His bowling also seemed to revive India's seamers. But as 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. At tea, England was 201 for one with Vaughan unbeaten on 130 and Surrey left-hander Mark Butcher offering sound support on 43. But in the second over afterwards India was convinced that Butcher, then 48, had sliced left-arm quick Ashish Nehra to Wasim Jaffer in the gully. But the batsman stood his ground and the decision was referred to the third umpire. Animated Indian captain Saurav Ganguly engaged in lively conversation with senior on-field official Rudi Koertzen of South Africa, although it was difficult to see what he hoped to achieve by it. However, television pictures were inconclusive and Butcher stayed. But he only made five more runs before he was dismissed. Prodding forward to Harbhajan, Butcher edged straight to Rahul Dravid at first slip. His 53 had come from 115 balls, including seven boundaries, Butcher helping Vaughan add 165 for the second wicket. It was sweet revenge for Harbhajan who was unlucky not to capture Butcher's wicket when the Surrey batsman had made just seven, just failing to cling on to a diving caught and bowled chance off a mistimed drive. And then 221 for two became 228 for three when England captain Nasser Hussain (3) gloved a sweep off Harbhajan to give Patel an easy first dismissal. It must have been a relief to Patel who had earlier dropped a far harder leg-side chance offered by Vaughan off Harbhajan when the batsman was only on Vaughan, though, kept going reaching his 150 with an elegantly leg-glanced four off Nehra. John Crawley then made 22 before he was given out caught in the gully by Wasim off left-arm quick Zaheer Khan to leave England 272 for four. 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 Nehra, he played on.