Sachin, Ganguly on song; put India in command

Published: Friday, August 30, 2002, 6:10 [IST]
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Leeds: Sachin Tendulkar and India captain Saurav Ganguly both made masterful hundreds as they demolished the England attack on the second day of the third Test at Headingley on Friday. At stumps India was on an imposing 584 for five, having won the toss, with Tendulkar 185 not out, off 321 balls, having hit three sixes and 18 fours. To the last ball of the day, left-hander Ganguly was bowled for 128 by paceman Alex Tudor having faced 167 balls, hitting three sixes and 13 fours. Immediately after new batsman Venkatsai Laxman came to the crease, the umpires took the players off for bad light with seven overs remaining. Tendulkar and Ganguly shared a stand of 249 from 359 balls, India's best for any wicket in England, with their most ferocious strokes coming after they had refused an offer of bad light. In all 348 runs were scored in the day's 83.1 overs, at more than four an over, after India started the day on 236 for two. And when England took the new ball in gathering gloom, India responded by scoring 91 in the next 10 overs in an astonishing display of attacking batting. It was a particularly memorable day for Tendulkar who, 10 years after becoming Yorkshire's first overseas player, scored his maiden first-class hundred at Headingley. His 30th Test century saw Tendulkar surpass Australia legend Don Bradman's mark of 29, with only India great Sunil Gavaskar (34) having made more hundreds at this level. Another milestone came when Tendulkar made 74 and so overtook former England batsman David Gower's mark of 8,231 runs to move into seventh place in the all-time list of leading Test run-scorers. Amidst all the blazing hitting it was easy to forget Rahul Dravid's earlier 148, which ground down the England attack. Some of the 29-year-old Tendulkar's strokeplay in the final session was breathtaking. Going across his stumps he turned a full length Andrew Caddick delivery through square for four off the backfoot to go to 150 while, off the next ball, he pulled the Somerset quick for six. He even surpassed that stroke when, with five lights on the scoreboard, he went down the pitch to the same bowler and lofted him for an enormous six into the new East Stand. Ganguly, out for 99 at Trent Bridge, brought up his hundred with a four off left-arm spinner Ashley Giles and then hoisted him for two successive sixes before pulling the next ball for four to make it 23 runs off the over. Earlier England's day was summed up when first slip Robert Key dropped a simple catch offered by Ganguly (then 79) after Caddick, running in with the second new ball, forced the left-hander to waft outside off-stump. India was then 493 for three. Ganguly reached 50 with a six, the first of the innings, a towering on-drive off Giles. A spectator behind the boundary tried to catch the ball only to see it go through his hands and hit him squarely on the forehead. However, he did not appear to be seriously injured. Meanwhile England's quicks, criticised by coach Duncan Fletcher for bowling too short on Thursday, reacted by going to the other extreme and generally over-pitched. That forced England's Madras-born captain Nasser Hussain to bring on Giles. And, in the ninth over after lunch, Giles had Dravid stumped by Alec Stewart, the ball turning past the outside edge. Dravid, nicknamed 'The Wall' for his resilience, faced 307 balls including 23 fours in an innings lasting over seven hours. Together with Tendulkar he put on 150 for the third wicket in 39 overs to leave India 335 for three. England leads the four-match series 1-0 but India is now in charge of a match it must win to keep alive their hopes of a first Test campaign victory outside the sub-continent in 16 years.

Scorecard of Test 3 Day 2
Sachin surpasses Don; India piles 421 for three at tea

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