Strauss's 2nd ton shatters India, England 319/3 at lunch

Published: Sunday, December 14, 2008, 11:52 [IST]
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Chennai: India found the noose tightening around them after England took a substantial lead and gain firm control of the first Test here today. Strauss who completed another brilliant century in the second innings now became the first-ever Englishman to score back-to-back centuries in a single Test match on Indian soil.

Strauss moved to 102 on the fourth morning, to push England's lead to an imposing 319, with Paul Collingwood progressing to 93 in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 201.

Strauss, who hit a superb 123 in the first innings, brought up the landmark with a single to the on-side off left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan in the 20th over of the day at the Chepauk Stadium

Strauss and Collingwood have played consiously considering the fact that they came together at the crease with their team was staring down the barrel at 43/3. Using their feet to the spinners and handling the pacers with soft hands, the duo hardly put any foot wrong as they piled on the agony on Indians, adding 72 runs in 26 overs.

Indian skipper M S Dhoni, still ruing the dropped catch off leg spinner Amit Mishra when Strauss was on 15, shuffled his bowlers well. But success eluded the Indians.

While Strauss successfully employed the sweep shots against the spinners to telling effect, Collingwood twice stepped out to Amit Mishra to pick boundaries.

Such was their concentration level that they cut, pulled and drove with aplomb and picked the gaps with fine roll of wrists to put England firmly in control.


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