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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 July 2007, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
England face battle to save Test
SECOND NPOWER TEST, Trent Bridge, day three:
England 198 & 43-0 v India 481

By Mark Mitchener

Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar was at his imperious best against England's bowlers
England will need to bat for nearly two days to save the second Test after finishing 240 runs behind India at stumps on day three at Trent Bridge.

The hosts reached 43-0 at the close after India posted a commanding 481.

Sachin Tendulkar, controversially adjudged lbw to Paul Collingwood, top-scored for India with 91 after adding 96 with Sourav Ganguly.

Ganguly made 79 and VVS Laxman hit 54 before Monty Panesar (4-101) and Chris Tremlett (3-82) ended India's innings.

India, who held on to draw the first Test of the three-match series, have never lost a Test in which they have led by 100 or more on first innings, and resumed in the sunshine on 254-3.

606: DEBATE
With plenty of time on their hands, they set out to bat England out of the match and enjoyed a fruitful first session.

Having sent down 79 overs on Saturday, England were able to take the second new ball after the first over of the day.

Ryan Sidebottom soon had the new ball swinging and had early lbw appeals against both batsmen, but umpire Ian Howell was unmoved.

The left-armer was the pick of England's bowlers in the wicketless morning session, conceding just seven runs in his nine-over spell, but failed to make the crucial breakthrough as Tendulkar's edge fell just short of Collingwood at second slip.

Ganguly was characteristically strong through the gully region, but did cut loose when he hooked Tremlett for a six over the ropes at backward square leg.

Tendulkar brought up the fifty partnership - and extended the lead to the magic 100 mark - when he cracked Anderson through the covers for four, while in the same over, Ganguly also found the boundary to take the score past 300.

Even the introduction of Panesar, an hour and 20 minutes into the day's play, failed to stem the tide as Ganguly gloriously cover-drove for four and Tendulkar intelligently used his feet to swipe the spinner to the long-off boundary.

Chris Tremlett is congratulated after removing VVS Laxman
Tremlett (left) removed Laxman and Kumble in quick succession
Ganguly reached his own half-century - his 28th in Tests - as the pair reached 338-3 at lunch, a superb platform for the rest of the day's play.

Medium-pacer Collingwood was handed the first over after lunch - with the implication that England were on the defensive.

However, vice-captain Tendulkar's face was a picture of disbelief after he was rapped on the front pad, offering no shot - and umpire Simon Taufel raised his finger, despite replays and Hawk-Eye suggesting that the ball would have easily passed outside off-stump.

Tendulkar had no option but to trudge back to the pavilion, which brought Laxman to the crease.

But he was happy to play the supporting role as Ganguly dominated, while Collingwood bowled a long spell after lunch but without lightning striking twice.

Left-hander Ganguly was only halted by a bout of cramp, while the luckless Sidebottom saw Laxman's prod fall just short of Andrew Strauss at slip.

Laxman had another let-off when he drove the ball back past Sidebottom and set off for a single, but had to dash back to the striker's end when Ganguly failed to move.

But after the pair had added 67, Ganguly was the victim of another questionable decision when Taufel adjudged he had nicked James Anderson to Prior down the leg side when there appeared to be no contact.

Dhoni announced his arrival at the crease with a pull for four off Anderson, but Sidebottom finally claimed his deserved first wicket of the innings when Dhoni edged him to Prior, and walked before the umpire had time to rule.

Thankfully for India, there was no controversy about this dismissal, just before tea, by which time they had reached 419-6.

England batsman Andrew Strauss
Strauss and Cook had 16 overs to survive before the close of play
As the evening session began, Laxman became the fifth Indian to pass the half-century mark with some well-timed shots.

Tremlett was out of luck when he found Kumble's outside edge, but the ball flew perfectly between England's two slips and two gullies - but the Hampshire seamer's reward came when he had Laxman caught behind for 54.

Zaheer Khan edged his first ball for four before a confrontation with Kevin Pietersen, when the pair exchanged a few cross words that could earn either or both of them a visit to the match referee.

But the Tremlett-Prior combination soon claimed their third wicket of the innings - and Prior's fifth catch - to remove Kumble for a ponderous 30.

The economical Tremlett finished with 3-82 from 41 overs as the Indian tail unravelled.

RP Singh failed to trouble the scorers as he fell lbw to Panesar, who earned himself one last high-five by trapping the bespectacled Sree Santh in the same way.

With 16 overs to face before the close, Strauss (who finished unbeaten on 21) and Alastair Cook (17 not out) began a rearguard effort to save the game and avoid going behind in the series.

Santh was removed from the attack after two wayward overs in which he struggled with his run-up and rhythm.

But neither Kumble's wily leg-spin nor Ganguly's occasional medium pace could dislodge either left-hander before stumps, by which time India's lead had been cut to 240.

SEE ALSO
Age catching up with Tendulkar
29 Jul 07 |  England
India take charge of second Test
28 Jul 07 |  England
India in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket


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