India incharge of third Test, rain forces early tea

Published: Sunday, August 25, 2002, 2:28 [IST]
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Leeds: India was well in charge of the third Test against England when rain forced an early tea here at Headingley on Saturday. England was 134 for three in reply to India's mammoth 628 for eight declared, a deficit of 494 and still 295 short of avoiding the follow-on. Captain Nasser Hussain was 20 not out with John Crawley yet to get off the mark. India's total was its highest against England, surpassing the 606 for nine declared it made at The Oval in 1990 and its highest on foreign soil.

England, 61 without loss at lunch, lost its first wicket six runs later. Robert Key, in his second Test, had made a 76-ball 30 when, pushing at a ball angled across him y left-arm quick Zaheer Khan, he was safely caught by Venkatsai Laxman at second slip. Meanwhile Vaughan, looking for a third successive Test hundred after his 115 in England's victory at Lord's and career-best 197 in the drawn second match at Trent Bridge, brought up his fifty with a cover-driven four off leg spinner Anil Kumble. But, in his next over, Kumble had left-hander Mark Butcher (16) plumb lbw, England at 109 for two in the 33rd over.

Vaughan, on 61, had a lucky break when he edged medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar. Wicket- keeper Parthiv Patel dropped the chance, second slip Venkatsai Laxman failed to hold on the rebound and first slip Rahul Dravid then failed to make contact with a diving effort. But, in front of his home crowd, Vaughan failed to cash in on his reprieve, next ball steering Agarkar straight to cover where Virender Sehwag made no mistake. Opener Vaughan had faced 116 balls and hit nine fours but England was now 130 for three.

Earlier, India had resumed on 584 for four and scored a further 44 runs in seven overs before captain Saurav Ganguly declared following a shoddy England display that saw four catches dropped in addition to the two put down on Friday. Sachin Tendulkar started the day 185 not out but fell seven short of a double century when he fell lbw to Andrew Caddick. His 30th Test hundred left him just four behind compatriot Sunil Gavaskar's world record of 34 and saw him overtake ex-England batsman David Gower's mark of 8,231 runs as Tendulkar moved into seventh place in the all-time list of Test run-scorers.

India has not won a Test series outside the sub-continent since 1986. But victory here will square this four-match campaign at 1-1 ahead of next month's final Test at The Oval. Before the second session began players and officials from both sides took to the outfield to lead the crowd in a two minutes' silence in memory of recently murdered 10-year-old girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman from the eastern English village of Soham.

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