London: England opener Michael Vaughan fell five runs short of claiming the first double hundred of his career on Friday as England advanced to 393-5 at lunch on the second day of the crucial deciding Test against India at The Oval.
The Yorkshire batsman was dismissed by the 29th ball of the day after progressing to 195 from his unbeaten 182 overnight as India finally ended his 77-run third-wicket partnership with John Crawley to make him only the fourth batsman in Test history to be dismissed twice in the 190's. Vaughan, who is also the first batsman ever to be dismissed twice in the 190's in the same series, began impressively enough, hitting two boundaries in the first over of the morning from Ajit Agarkar and moved swiftly past 190 before another sell-out Oval crowd. But, after progressing to 195, he pushed forward defensively to left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan and got a thin edge to wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra. Vaughan, who received another standing ovation as he returned to the dressing room, had batted for 379 minutes, faced 279 balls and hit 29 boundaries. "I was disappointed not to get a double hundred but it was a decent ball and I could have got it on nought," a philosophical Vaughan said at the lunch break. It was the second time this summer that he had been denied a double century after his career-best 197 at Trent Bridge. After Vaughan's departure, ball dominated bat as Zaheer and Agarkar exploited the bowler-friendly, overcast conditions. Captain Nasser Hussain joined Crawley and they had progressed the score to 367 for three when Crawley was given out lbw by umpire Orchard off the bowling of Sanjay Bangar for 26 to put in doubt his place on this winter's Ashes tour. Hussain was out on 10 after taking a wild slash at a Bangar delivery that was well caught at second slip by Venkatsai Laxman. Laxman was forced off after taking the catch and received ice treatment to a bruised finger. Captain Saurav Ganguly then joined him in the treatment room, having been stung on the back of the leg by a bee. Virender Sehwag replaced Laxman in the slip cordon and soon provided England with a let-off when Alec Stewart, on four, edged low to his right off Bangar - Sehwag got his hands to the ball but could not haul it in. At the break, Stewart and Dominic Cork were both on eight not out. The two sides went into the fourth and final Test with the series tied at 1-1.
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