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Dravid holding fort as India lose 4 wkts for 149

Written by: Staff
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Mohali, Mar 11 (UNI) A defiant unbeaten 60 by captain Rahul Dravid and his 78-run partnership for the second wicket with opener Wasim Jaffer (31) helped India post 149 for four at close of play on the third day of the second Test against England at the PCA Stadium here today.

On draw of stumps, wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was giving company to Dravid on 12, after Virender Sehwag (11), Sachin Tendulkar (4) and Yuvraj Singh (15) returned to the pavillion without much contribution to the host total.

Opener Sehwag departed early in the innings when he played a kicking delivery from right-arm fast bowler Steve Harmison, offering a catch to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones. The first wicket fell with scorecard reading just 18 runs after 3.5 overs.

Dravid joined Jaffer and they were associated in a 78-run stand for the second wicket. When it looked India had taken control of the situation, England struck another blow. Left- arm spinner Monty Panesar, the first Sikh in the England team, accounted for Jaffer, caught by captain Andrew Flintoff at cover.

Jaffer, who had made 81 and 100 in the drawn Nagpur Test, stayed at the wicket for 152 minutes and faced 104 balls. He slammed two fours.

Seven runs later, India suffered another shock and Sachin Tendulkar played Flintoff away from the body and spooned a high catch to Andrew Strauss in second slip. Tendulkar scored a mere four runs and India was in trouble at 103 for three in 38.3 overs when he departed.

Local lad Yuvraj Singh, recalled after recovering from the injury he suffered during the Pakistan tour, then joined his captain, but was dismissed by an outstanding catch.

The left handed batsman drove to cover only to find Ian Bell jumped high to make an improbable catch with a single hand.

Yuvraj scored 15 with the help of one four during his 46-minute vigil at the wicket and faced 30 deliveries, after sharing 31-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Dravid.

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