London, July 25: With a riveting, unbroken 162-run stand, English latter-order batsman Matt Prior and Stuart Broad took the Lord's Test out of India's grasp in the final session of play on Day 4. The batting duo defiantly countered the Indian attack with Prior scoring an unbeaten 103 and Stuart Broad remaining not out on 74, as England recovered from 107/6 to 269/6 (declared) in their second innings. In so doing, they set India a mammoth target of 458.
Earlier, Indian pacer Ishant Sharma threatened to sway the match India's way with a burst of 4 wickets.The day ended with India at 80/1, still trailing England by 378 runs, with Rahul Dravid not out on 34 and VVS Laxman, on 32.
Resuming after tea at 174/6, Prior and Broad kept pummeling the Indian attack with sheer disdain, while it was clear that the visitors' bowlers were progressively losing the plot. The batting pair took England's second innings total past 200 in the 64th over, courtesy a Broad boundary off Ishant.
Indian captain M S Dhoni switched roles again, bowling his seam-up. But he was immediately hammered by each batsman for a four in the 68th over. At the other end, off-break Suresh Raina too came in for a clobbering as Prior hit him for a six in the 69th over and teamed up with Broad to knock three boundaries of him in the 71st, before England decided to declare at 269/6.
Faced with the daunting task of batting out the last four sessions of the match and against the target of 458, India got off to a positive start. With Gautam Gambhir out with an injury, Rahul Dravid joined Abhinav Mukund at the crease. But in the 9th over of India's second innings, Broad bowled Mukund off an inside edge, for 12 as the score read 19/1.
Then VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid put the house in order with a measured display of aggression. Laxman got English off-break Graeme Swann away for a four to bring up India'a 50, before he went after Chris Tremlett. Laxman dispatched the tall seamer to the boundary three consecutive times in the 23rd over as India wrapped up the day at 80/1 in 26 overs.