Dravid, Sachin hold fort for India, 294/2 at lunch

Published: Saturday, August 24, 2002, 0:03 [IST]
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Leeds (England): India consolidated its advantage in the third Test against England at Headingley on Friday, not losing any further wickets as it reached 294 for two at lunch on the second day. Rahul Dravid was 130 not out off 285 balls including 20 fours and Sachin Tendulkar 53 not out. Arguably India's best batsmen, the pair defied the England attack with some textbook play, both in attack and defence, their hundred stand coming off 168 balls as Tendulkar in particular accelerated.

India resumed on 236 for two with Dravid 110 not out and Tendulkar 18 not out after rain delayed the start of play by 55 minutes. England pace bowler Matthew Hoggard, in front of his home crowd, began with a maiden to Tendulkar. But, despite the overcast conditions assisting swing bowling, the batsmen were soon into their stride. At the other end, Somerset quick Andrew Caddick saw his first ball of the morning - a leg-stump half-volley, and the first Dravid received Friday, clipped through mid-wicket for four. Caddick was at least trying to pitch the ball up and later in the over found the outside edge of Dravid's bat.

But Dravid deliberately kept the ball down and, frustratingly for the bowler, the ball dropped short of Andrew Flintoff at second slip and went down to the third man boundary for another four. Tendulkar meanwhile found his form with successive boundaries off Hoggard, a cover- drive followed by a clip off his legs. First change Alex Tudor, following on from his lively if luckless spell on Thursday, had a huge appeal against Tendulkar (then 36) for a catch behind through to Surrey team-mate and England wicket-keeper Alec Stewart in the eighth over of the morning.

However, with India on 270 for two, South African umpire David Orchard correctly turned down the appeal, replays showing the ball had possibly brushed Tendulkar's shirt but certainly not the glove. Tudor though did enjoy a moral victory against Tendulkar two overs later, the ball going safely through the covers off the outside edge after the batsman had tried to turn the ball onto the leg-side.

In contrast to its cautious start after captain Saurav Ganguly won the toss Thursday, India was now scoring quickly with 41 runs coming in the session's first 10 overs including seven boundaries. And runs continued to come, Tendulkar up on one leg to pull a short Tudor delivery outside off-stump through square to bring up his fifty off 98 balls including nine boundaries.

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