Trent Bridge, July 30: Riding on a strokeful half-century by VVS Laxman, India progressed from their overnight score of 24/1 to 117/2 at lunch on Day 2 of the Trent Bridge Test. A total of 19 fours came in the first session as Rahul Dravid provided adequate support with an unbeaten 44. Tim Bresnan took the sole wicket of the morning, before Sachin Tendulkar joined Dravid at the crease. India now trail the hosts by 104 runs.
The day began with Laxman, batting on 13 and Dravid, not out on 7, exhibiting aggressive intent. In the second over of the day (India's 17th of their first innings), Laxman smacked James Anderson to deep point and then cover-drove him for two consecutive boundaries, before Dravid sent Stuart Broad to square leg and through the covers for back-to-back fours in the next over. Meanwhile, the score had scaled upto 44/1 at the end of 18 overs.
In the 23rd over, a shadow of doubt fell over Laxman when Anderson thought he had him caught behind. England called for a review which was inconclusive, letting the batsman off the hook. After three quiet overs, Dravid straight-drove Anderson for another boundary to bring up India's 50 in 26.1 overs.
Meanwhile, Laxman was making merry at the other end, cover-driving Tim Bresnan for a four in the 27th over and then pulling Anderson for another, in the 28th, before clobbering the same bowler for two successive fours in the 30th, as the score moved onto 73/1. Laxman then brought up his 54th Test fifty in the 32nd over with an extra-cover drive off Bresnan.
Just when it looked like Laxman was invincible, along came a lapse of concentration. Bresnan had him caught behind for 54 with an outswinger in the 36th over as Sachin Tendulkar walked out to the middle. India were 93/2 when Dravid counter-attacked with a four off Trott before Tendulkar joined in with another boundary to take India past 100/2.The batting duo warded off any hint of a top-order collapse and took India into lunch at 117/2.