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1st Test England v India



By Paresh Soni

First Test, Lord's, day five:
England 298 & 282 drew with India 201 & 282-9

England captain Michael Vaughan sits on the team balcony
Vaughan and his team were left frustrated by the elements
England were a wicket away from beating India in the first Test when bad light and rain forced a draw at Lord's.

Sourav Ganguly (40) and Dinesh Karthik (60) fell on the last morning to leave the Indians 145-5 chasing 380 but VVS Laxman and Mahendra Dhoni added 86.

Chris Tremlett (3-52), Ryan Sidebottom and Monty Panesar struck after lunch to take England to the brink of victory.

Dhoni (76) and Sree Santh survived 30 balls of spin before poor light forced tea early and there was no more action.

The teams now move on to Nottingham for the second instalment of the three-Test series, starting on Friday.

India will be relieved to still be on level terms after their much-vaunted batting line-up came off second best to the home side's inexperienced bowlers, particularly the pacemen.

The swing movement on offer throughout the game was again evident as Sidebottom got his 12th ball to straighten enough and pin Ganguly in front of off-stump.

606: DEBATE
HB

James Anderson had problems with his line but he too was celebrating when Karthik chased a full one outside off-stump and Paul Collingwood held on at second slip.

Both bowlers tested Laxman and Dhoni with some short stuff and the latter led something of a charmed life.

He should have been back in the pavilion for 14 when he slashed a short ball from Panesar and Collingwood failed to grasp a chance he would normally swallow up at slip.

The aggressive wicket-keeper/batsman did make cleaner contact on several occasions, cutting a wide Collingwood long-hop and crashing Tremlett through the covers.

Ryan Sidebottom swung the ball repeatedly to trouble the Indians
Sidebottom swung the ball repeatedly to trouble the Indians

Laxman also had a bit of fortune when he slashed at Sidebottom and the ball went over gully for four, but he was much more in control than his partner.

Two orthodox back-foot drives off Tremlett and a pull off Sidebottom were pleasing on the eye and he continued to look good after the break.

After edging the first ball after the resumption through where a third slip should have been he produced trademark wristy strokeplay to dispatch Anderson and Panesar for three runs each through mid-wicket.

Dhoni continued to provide a mixed bag: flaying Anderson through cover-point and Panesar down the ground but almost edging Panesar and Tremlett behind as he reached his fifty off 120 balls.

Surprisingly, Laxman was the man to go, bowled comprehensively off his pad for 39 by one that Tremlett nipped back in and there was another boost for England with the second new ball when a Sidebottom inswinger hit Anil Kumble's pad in line with middle.

Zaheer Khan blocked out 14 balls before his first attempt to play an aggressive stroke resulted in him tickling the ball down the leg-side to wicket-keeper Matt Prior.

With the light fading, Michael Vaughan brought himself on and Dhoni promptly took a liking to him, cracking four boundaries off the skipper's part-time off-spin.

However, he was almost out of partners when RP Singh missed with a heave across the line at Panesar and Santh survived a confident lbw shout from the left-arm spinner.

It was no surprise when the umpires, who had been regularly checking their light meters, asked the question the Indians wanted to hear and their relief was betrayed by the huge roar their fans let out.

SEE ALSO
Pietersen puts pressure on India
22 Jul 07 |  England
England extend lead despite rain
21 Jul 07 |  England
Late wickets spoil England's day
19 Jul 07 |  England
India in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket


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