Sreesanth~~s two late strikes restrict England

Published: Sunday, March 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Two late strikes by S Sreesanth brought India back into the match after England's captain Andrew Flintoff looked like taking the match away from the hosts as the visitors reached 345 for six by lunch on the second day of the third and final Test at the Wankhede stadium here today.

At the break, Owais Shah, with 55, and Shaun Udal, on eight, were at the crease.

England's stand-in skipper earlier rode his luck with the Indian fielders playing the perfect hosts dropping him twice off successive deliveries of Munaf Patel after the visitors resumed at their overnight score of 272 for three.

Flintoff was in an aggressive mood stating his intentions early square driving Munaf Patel through the point region for the first boundary of the day in the second over.

The second new ball taken after 94 overs also did not have any effect on the burly allrounder as he hooked Irfan Pathan to the fine leg fence for a huge six.

At the other end, Munaf bowled beautifully managing bounce and movement from this wicket and in the fourth over of the new ball managed to induce an edge from Flintoff's bat but Virender Sehwag diving to his left failed on latch on to the ball.

If this was not enough the next ball saw Flintoff play towards gully where Anil Kumble dropped a routine catch. Flintoff was then on 29 with the team's total on 298 for three.

Flintoff made most of these chances hitting Patel for a huge six over fine leg and then square driving him for a boundary to rub salt into his wounds.

Flintoff then turned his attention to Kumble pulling him to the midwicket fence for a boundary.

However, Dravid brought on Sreesanth towards the close of the morning session and he immediately struck in his second over getting a ball to hold its line as Paul Collingwood pushed forward tentatively.

The ball found the outside edge and Indian fielder wicket keeper M Dhoni held on to the catch.

Collingwood made 31.

Soon after, Flintoff, completing his half century in 83 balls with six boundaries and three sixers, tried to clear the midwicket fence only to see Sachin Tendulkar pouch an easy catch off Kumble.

Flintoff could not add to his half century.

England then suffered another blow when Geraint Jones tried to drive but managed to give an easy catch to gully where Kumble this time made no mistake.

India lead the series 1-0.

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