Chennai: After conceding a 75-run first innings lead, India hit back strongly, reducing England to 68 for three in their second innings at tea on the third day of the first Test at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here today.
At the break, first innings centurion Andrew Strauss, was unbeaten with a chancy 30 (106 min, 57 balls, 2x4) along with Paul Collingwood on 10 (33 min, 28 balls, 2x4).
For India, speedster Ishant Sharma, leggie Amit Mishra and left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh claimed a wicket each. England now have an overall lead of 143 runs with seven wickets in hand.
The English innings would have been in further disarray, had Dhoni held on to the edge from Strauss' bat off Mishra, with the scoreboard reading 43 for three. Strauss, who was on 15 then, continued the recovery act and had so far added 25 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket partnership in 7.5 overs.
Earlier, resuming at the lunch score of 241 for nine, the Indian innings lasted a mere four balls, as Andrew Flintoff castled Amit Mishra to help England gain a 75 run lead, a big cushion considering that the wicket was increasingly aiding the spinners.
But India hit back strongly after openers Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook negotiated the new ball well. While Zaheer Khan was accurate in his length, Ishant struggled with his line and often over-stepped.
But it was Ishant who drew the first blood, when he removed Cook (nine), inducing an edge to Dhoni and ending the 28-run first wicket stand.