Anderson leads England revival against India

Published: Thursday, August 9, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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LONDON : James Anderson led England's fightback on the opening day of the third and final Test against India at The Oval here with two important wickets.

At tea series-leaders India, who had been 189 for one and on the way to building a lead which would have made their 1-0 advantage all but impregnable, were 211 for three with Anderson having taken two for 55 in 15 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar was two not out and Sourav Ganguly eight not out after opener Dinesh Karthik had made 91.

India resumed after lunch on 117 for one with opener Karthik 50 not out and Rahul Dravid, who'd won the toss and chosen to bat on a good pitch, unbeaten on 25.

In the second over after the break Karthik, on 58, gave a sharp chance when he was dropped at short extra-cover by Andrew Strauss following a powerfully-struck drive off left-arm spinner Monty Panesar.

Dravid then responded to England captain Michael Vaughan's decision to post two fielders close in at short extra-cover by stylishly driving Panesar between the pair of them for four. Karthik then used his feet well to go down the pitch to drive Panesar for six over extra-cover.

Dravid, who in India's last Test at The Oval five years ago scored 217, went on to complete an 82-ball fifty with eight fours. But a stand of 127 was ended when Dravid, on 55, was bowled by Anderson's yorker.

Tendulkar, one of several India players who could be playing their last Test in England, walked out to an ovation from several sets of spectators.

He was still on nought when pace bowler Anderson let loose a huge appeal for a well-held 'catch' at leg slip by Ian Bell.

But the ball had clearly come off Tendulkar's chest and unimpressed umpire Steve Bucknor turned down the appeal.

No India batsman has so far made a hundred this series. It seemed as if Karthik, whose lone Test hundred came against minnows Bangladesh earlier this year, was about to end that sequence.

But nine runs short of a century he played an airy shot outside off-stump against left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom and edged to wicket-keeper Matt Prior. India had now seen 189 for two become 199 for three.

In all, Karthik faced 151 balls with one six and 10 fours.

Wasim Jaffer was the only man out in the morning, caught for a dashing 35 when going well by Kevin Pietersen off Anderson, having previously cut the bowler for six in the same region.

The first wicket duo's fifty partnership came up in 81 balls.

But soon afterwards Jaffer gave his wicket away when he cut a short ball from Anderson to Pietersen, standing several yards in from the boundary at third man. Jaffer's innings also featured six fours.

Both sides were unchanged from the teams that played the second Test at Trent Bridge where India won by seven wickets.

England need to win this match to maintain their six-year unbeaten run in home Test series.

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