Trent Bridge, July 29: India have England on the mat in the first innings of the second Test of their ongoing tour, reducing the hosts to 124/8 in 51 overs. Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma made the most of the conditions at Trend Bridge, astutely fazing the batsman with swing and bounce. The pace duo picked up three wickets apiece, while their speedster buddy Praveen Kumar pitched in with two scalps. Meanwhile, Ian Bell was the only batsman to score above 30 as most of the English top and middle-order collapsed like a house of cards.
In the first over after lunch, Sreesanth ensnared the big fish Kevin Pietersen with a wicked outswinger which the batsman edged to Suresh Raina at third slip. The maverick batter was headed back for 29 off 53 balls as England slipped to 73/3 in 27.5 overs. Ian Bell was the next man in with Sreesanth and Ishant bowling in tandem.
In the 36th over, Bell broke the boundary-drought by slapping a short ball from Sreesanth through the covers as England moved onto 85/3. But in the next over, Praveen Kumar struck back, removing a well-set Andrew Strauss for 32 and in the very next ball, trapped Eoin Morgan lbw for a duck. The seamer missed getting Matt Prior out on the hat-trick ball, but anyway had England reeling at 85/5 in the 37th over.
The hero of the second innings in the Lord's Test, Prior couldn't repeat his latter-order heroics and was caught at first slip due to a deadly, tight out-swinger from Sreesanth. The wicket-keeper was on his way for 1 as England had slumped to 88/6 in 39.5 overs. Then Bell and new batsman Tim Bresnan tried to launch a counter-offensive with the former knocking two fours off Ishant in the 42nd over.
In the following over, Praveen would have had his third wicket if Rahul Dravid hadn't clanged a catch at first slip from Ian Bell. Then in the next over, Bell hit Ishant fine for a four as the score moved past 100/6. However, the batting pair's stand lasted all of 29 runs before Ishant had Bresnan caught brilliantly by Dravid at slip for 11. England were 117/7 in the 49th over at that juncture.
Two overs later, Ishant picked up his third wicket when he had Bell caught behind for 31. The England tail had been exposed, going into tea at 124/8 in 50.2 overs.