Tendulkar, Yuvraj gundown England's victory hopes

Published: Monday, December 15, 2008, 15:58 [IST]
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Englishmen thrown out from Chennai

Chennai: India pulled off the fourth biggest run chase in Test history to win the series opener against England in Chennai.

Sachin Tendulkar scored a spectacular century to see the hosts to a target of 387 with six wickets to spare on the final day.

Yuvraj Singh played his part with an unbeaten 85, sharing an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 163 in just under 42 overs. He played with maturity and provided the support that Tendulkar needed to take India home

Virender Sehwag's explosive 83 had set the platform on the fourth evening but India still needed another 256 going into the final day. Sehwag's fascinating innings, t was studded with four sixes and eleven fours, came to an end when he fell leg before wicket to Graeme Swann to put India at 117/1.

England looked on course for an excellent victory on Monday morning when Flintoff dismissed Dravid early in the day. Dravid's woes continued as he could manage only 4 runs off 19 deliveries. Dravid had scored only one half-century in his last 19 Test innings, which is likely to increase the pressure for him to be dropped for the second Test in Mohali in four days time.

It brought Tendulkar to the crease, who was given a testing introduction with Flintoff examining his technique with a number of short balls before he demonstrated his class by cutting his first boundary.

James Anderson dismissed Gambhir by having him caught at gully by Paul Collingwood who dived to his right to take a good catch.


VVS Laxman had fallen prey to the impressive debutant Graeme Swann for a score of 26. Laxman was caught at short leg by Ian Bell. He, along with Sachin had put up a 43 run partnership for the fourth wicket that had brought the runs required below the 200 run mark.

England immediately increased their levels of aggression as soon as Yuvraj arrived at the crease with captain Kevin Pietersen introducing main spearhead Steve Harmison to the attack for the first time in the 34th over of the day.

Harmison reacted by throwing the ball back aggressively at Yuvraj, who had not moved out of his crease, in his second over and noticeably did not apologise while both Flintoff and Pietersen attempted to rile the Indian batsman with constant chatter and try to goad him into a mistake.

Instead of wilting under the war of words, however, Yuvraj responded with a superbly composed innings to claim a half-century and forge a match-winning partnership with Tendulkar.


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