England bowlers rattle Indian top order


Mohali : England bowlers rattled the Indian top order to leave the hosts reeling at 56 for three in the second innings at tea on the fourth day of the second cricket Test here Monday.

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Gautam Gambhir was batting on 26 and V.V.S. Laxman six at the break as India stretched their lead to 207 at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here.

The start of play delayed by two hours because of fog, But Harbhajan Singh lit up the session by taking three quick wickets and England were bowled for 302. India made 453 in the first innings.

Despite a 151-run deficit, India could not press home the advantage. They failed to get off to a flier as Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were dismissed quickly.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson bowled a tight line and length and Ian Bell came up with a brilliant piece of fielding to get rid of danger man Sehwag.

Sehwag (17) started in his own trademark style by hitting two boundaries. However, his innings, was cut short when he attempted a single off Broad and was run out by a diving Bell.

After Sehwag’s exit, India went into a shell, scoring just 26 runs in the 19.1 overs after his dismissal.

Both Anderson and Broad got the ball to do a bit in the afternoon session. Rahul Dravid, who scored a century in the first innings, scratched around for 19 balls before being bowled by a Broad delivery that kept low.

Anderson was more effective in the second spell (7-5-7-1) as he picked up the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (5) caught at gully by Graeme Swann.

Earlier, Harbhajan Singh had his best figures of the series, four for 68, while Zaheer Khan returned with three for 76 to bowl England out shortly before lunch.

Resuming at the overnight score of 282 for six, England’s lower-order batsmen could not read Harbhajan’s bowling. The off-spinner struck with the first ball of the third over removing Matt Prior (2) caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Harbhajan’s ‘doosra’ turned out to be too hot for Stuart Broad (1) and he then tossed one up to Monty Panesar who pushed it into forward short-leg Gambhir’s hands. In between the two dismissals, Graeme Swann’s (3) stumps were rattled by Zaheer Khan.