Mohali, Mar 12 (UNI) Anil Kumble struck three crucial blows to put England precariously at 112 for five in their second innings at close of play on the fourth day of the second Test against India at the PCA Stadium here today.
Kumble, who is now the fifth bowler to claim 500 test wickets, captured the wickets of opener Andrew Strauss (13), Ian Bell (57) and Paul Collingwood (14). His tally of wickets has now risen to 504 in 105th Test.
Harbhajan Singh and medium pacer Munaf Patel got one wicket each.
Munaf gave India the first breakthrough having opener Alasair Cook (2) caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. England had only seven runs on the board then.
Harbhajan then removed dangerous Kevin Pietersen (4), who had contributed 64 runs in England's first innings total of 300 all out, caught by Dravid at first slip.
Dhoni was outstanding behind the wickets as he accepted three sharp catches while, Dravid, positioned at first slip, grabbed two catches.
Kumble was going great guns in England's second innings. He had left-handed opener Strauss out for a bat-and-pad decision given after it was referred to the third umpire.
Collingwood also fell in Kumble's trap. The ace leg-spinner first wasted a difficult chance to accept a return catch after running a few yards. However, he got him caught by Dravid in the slip in the same over for 14.
With the departure of Collingwood, the visitors were virtually fighting with their back to the wall as they were four down with the scorecard reading just 88.
Kumble then broke the backbone of England batting when he had the dangerous Ian Bell who completed his half century (57) with the help of seven fours from 137 balls.
Harbhajan was lucky to be awarded the wicket of Kevin Peitersen.
His delivery hit the forearm of Pietersen but was given out, caught by Dravid at first slip.
Earlier, Munaf Patel claimed his fourth wicket on debut after sending Alastair Cook (2), caught by Dhoni, to the pavillion.
The medium pacer from Gujarat had bagged three wickets in England's first innings.
At close of play on the penultimate day, captain Andrew Flintoff and wicketkeeper Geraint Jones were batting on 16 and one respectively.
With only one day left in the Test, England were just 74 runs ahead with five second innings wickets in hand. The Test is now poised for an interesting finish.
MORE UNI XC PDS RN1907