Sachin leaves Pietersen and England in a spin

Published: Saturday, August 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Sachin Tendulkar took a wicket first ball to remove dangerman Kevin Pietersen as India maintained the pressure on England during the third and final Test at The Oval here Saturday.

England, at tea on the third day, were 210 for five - 454 runs behind India's record 664 and still needing a further 255 to avoid the follow-on.

Pietersen was out shortly before tea for 41 when, trying to drive Tendulkar, he got an edge to a sharply turning leg-break and was caught at first slip by Rahul Dravid.

The elated India captain, who'd brought master batsman Tendulkar on after his frontline bowlers failed to break a fifth-wicket stand worth 78, celebrated in unusually exuberant style.

Paul Collingwood was 34 not out and Ian Bell two not out after it had seemed England, who started the session on 124 for four, would get through to tea without losing a wicket.

The normally aggressive Pietersen spent 23 balls on 21 in the face of some disciplined India bowling.

But he really found his touch when he whipped a length ball from medium-pacer Sourav Ganguly from outside off-stump through mid-on for four in trademark fashion before falling to Tendulkar.

Earlier, Anil Kumble continued to be a thorn in England's side.

The 36-year-old leg-spinner whose 110 not out on Friday was his maiden Test century and the first by an India batsman this series, removed Alastair Cook and England captain Michael Vaughan.

Cook, who'd been twice dropped off legside shots, ultimately saw one of his strengths become a weakness when he fell for 61.

The -handed opener trying to turn Kumble to the on-side, got a leading edge and was caught by Rudra Pratap Singh, running round from mid-off. Cook, 22, faced 98 balls with 11 fours.

Kumble, in his 118th Test, then moved into joint third place on 563 wickets with retired Australia quick Glenn McGrath in the list of Test cricket's most successful bowlers when he caught and bowled Vaughan for 11 following the batsman's chipped drive off the last ball before lunch.

India, 1-0 up, had simply to avoid defeat in this match to win only their third Test series in England in 15 tours dating back to 1932.

England, who needed to win this match to preserve their six-year unbeaten run in home Test series, started the third day on 24 for one.

Cook had only added one to his overnight 12 when leg-slip Dinesh Karthik failed to hold his glance off fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth with England 30 for one.

The Essex batsman had moved on to 28 when another leg-glance, off Kumble, was dropped by leg-slip Ganguly.

Nightwatchman James Anderson, who'd hung around gamely for over an hour while adding 66 for the second wicket with Cook, was eventually out for 16 when -arm quick Singh had him plumb lbw on the backfoot.

India's total was their highest Test innings score against England, surpassing the 628 for eight declared they made at Headingley in 2002.

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