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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 August 2007, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
India build towards strong total
THIRD NPOWER TEST, The Oval, day one (close):
England v India 316-4

By Jamie Lillywhite

Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar had some nervous moments but hit some fine strokes

India enhanced their bid to secure the series after closing day one of the final Test with England on 316-4.

After Wasim Jaffer fell before lunch for a breezy 35, Dinesh Karthik and Rahul Dravid looked in complete command in a partnership of 127 in 33 overs.

James Anderson produced a magical late swinging yorker to oust Dravid, who made his 48th Test fifty, and Karthik was given out for 91.

After tea Sachin Tendulkar was dropped on 20 by Matt Prior and remained on 48.

After the furore over the jelly beans and verbal jousting at Trent Bridge, England's fielders were noticeably quieter, although for the majority of the day they had little to shout about.

Having lost a particularly important toss on a sunny morning in south London, Michael Vaughan elected to give the new ball to Ryan Sidebottom and Anderson.

While the two swing bowlers found some movement, some astute leaves from the batsmen ensured there was little wicket-taking threat.

Chris Tremlett, who had rattled India with three wickets in the denouement at Trent Bridge had to wait until the eighth over for his chance, and by that stage both batsmen were set.

Rahul Dravid
Dravid was beaten all ends up by a stunning ball from Anderson

In his second over Tremlett forced Jaffer back with his customary steep bounce, but with no silly point it was fended to safety.

The 50 arrived from the first ball of the 14th over and having failed to break through in conventional fashion, England resorted to the theory of a catch on the boundary from short-pitched deliveries, but it did provide them with their only wicket of the session.

Jaffer had slashed Anderson over point for six in only the sixth over of the match and clearly fancied his chances of doing so again, but he sliced straight to third man 15 yards in from the boundary rope.

Sidebottom experimented around the wicket in the opening over after lunch, but was driven for two boundaries and it looked as though the afternoon session would become a batting masterclass.

Dravid pierced a gap of barely a yard between two fielders in the cover area, while Karthik advanced down the pitch not just to hit Panesar over long-off for six but to drive the far quicker Anderson.

Anderson's memorable delivery to dislodge the India captain revived England, who began to extract life from the pitch.

Karthik, who survived a sharp half chance to Andrew Strauss at short cover when 58, moved into the 90s with one of the few instances in which he was troubled, a deceptively quick Sidebottom bouncer fizzing off the face of the bat over Prior.

606: DEBATE

But nine short of his second Test century he was given out caught behind off the persevering left-arm seamer.

Sourav Ganguly brought up the 200 in fortuitous fashion with a flashing edge just past a diving gully but remained unbeaten with Sachin Tendulkar, who was treated to a wonderfully warm reception when he strode out to bat.

England polished the ball assiduously and it continued to nip around early in the final session.

They adopted a leg theory for Tendulkar, who was given a wonderfully warm reception as he strode out to bat in what is expected to be his final Test in England.

A man was deployed in a catching position at short fine-leg, but although the maestro was initially given some anxious moments he played some memorable strokes, one cover drive straight from his classic collection.

Prior had a difficult day behind the stumps, conceding five lots of four byes, though several might conceivably have been signalled wide.

There was no excuse for his expensive drop, however, when the score was 245-3.

A thick edge from Tendulkar off the unfortunate Sidebottom carried to his right at an ideal height but failed to stay in his gloves.

Ganguly waltzed down the wicket to swipe a six into the gangway at long-on off Panesar, who for once did not present difficulties for the batsmen.

But not for the first time in this series, the former India skipper was the victim of an umpiring error, this time from Ian Howell.

Paul Collingwood was brought into the attack ahead of the new ball and found some subtle swing, but the movement into Ganguly's pad was plainly via the bat not the seam.

Vaughan persisted with Collingwood, briefly delaying the new ball, but neither he or eight overs with the new cherry could winkle out another wicket.

With Tendulkar and VVS Laxman unbeaten plus batting to come, India will be satisfied with their position.

SEE ALSO
India in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket


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