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Tendulkar hundred tames England Lions

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Chelmsford:Sachin Tendulkar warmed up for next week's first Test at Lord's with 171 against England Lions here Saturday.

Tendulkar, 99 not out at tea, completed his 63rd first-class hundred in the first over of the second day's final session with a single off Tim Bresnan. He reached the landmark in 140 balls with one six and 13 fours.

At stumps, on the second day of this three-day game, India were 336 for seven in reply to the 'A' side's 413 for eight declared.

In all Tendulkar faced 236 balls with one six and 26 fours.

England pace prospect Graham Onions, a day before the selectors name the first Test squad, took three for 69.

His haul came as England spearhead, and Onions's Durham team-mate Stephen Harmison, was declared "extremely unlikely" to play at Lord's after suffering a recurrence of his hernia injury.

Onions struck twice in his first over, Wasim Jaffer lbw to his second ball. And three balls later he nipped one off the seam to have Venkatsai Laxman caught behind for nought.

India's top order slump continued when Dinesh Karthik, also caught behind, fell to leave the tourists 14 for three.

But Tendulkar counter-attacked and he struck a succession of boundaries off Onions.

Hampshire seamer Chris Tremlett, who dismissed Sourav Ganguly, could have had Tendulkar out for 39 and 53 but leg-slip Ravi Bopara and gully Owais Shah dropped tough but by no means impossible catches.

Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh (59) repaired the innings with a stand of 140 in 38 overs.

The 'Little Master' was especially severe on teenage Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid, striking him for two offside fours and a straight six in successive deliveries.

Yuvraj's innings ended when he was caught at slip by captain Andrew Strauss, likely to be opening for England on his Middlesex home ground next week, off Stuart Broad.

However, his exit brought in the hard-hitting Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who at stumps was 44 not out.

Just before the close Tendulkar's innings came to an end when Onions had him caught at deep mid-off.

Tendulkar is Test cricket's leading all-time century maker with 37 from 137 matches.

Earlier, Bresnan scored a career-best 126 not out before Strauss declared.

Tendulkar, 34, who was a teenager when he scored his first Test century at Old Trafford in 1990, has indicated this is likely to be his last England tour.

The Lord's match, due to start on Thursday, is the first of a three Tests between England and India.

Brief Scores:

England A 413 for 8 decl Vs India 336 for 7 (Tendulkar 171, Yuvraj 59, Dhoni 44 n o; Onions 3 for 70, Stuart Broad 2 for 62, Ravi Bopara 1 for 29).

AFP

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