Anderson takes four wickets as India concede 121 run lead
Mumbai, Mar 20: A superb counter attack of 55-run ninth wicket partnership between Anil Kumble and S Sreesanth helped India reduce the first innings lead to 121 runs after the English pace trio had tightened their grip on the third day of the third and final Test at Wankhede stadium here today.
India were bowled out for 279, about 40 minutes before close of play in reply to England's first innings score of 400 to concede a first innings lead of 121.
India lead the three-match 1-0 series following their nine-wicket win in the second Test at Mohali, while the first test at Nagpur was drawn.
The hero of the day for England was swing bowler James Anderson, who was playing his first Test after a year's time, as he grabbed three wickets, two of them being of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, as well as Harbhajan Singh. He also effected a superb run out of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose 64 was India's highest score to give England the advantage in the match.
Kumble and Sreesanth joined hands with India at 217 for eight and then proceeded to entertain the Mumbai crowd with some lusty hits, with Sreesanth being the more aggressive hitting Flintoff for two fours in an over and then Kumble smashing Matthew Hoggard over the slips for another boundary. The pair put on an invaluable 55 runs Partnership before Kumble was trapped leg before by Panesar for a well made 30.
India, resuming at 89 for three, needed their captain Rahul Dravid, playing his 100th Test, and Yuvraj Singh to go on and stich a huge partnership to get back into the game. However, that was not to be as Yuvraj, in just the second over of the day played a loose shot slashing at a delivery off Flintoff wide outside the off stump to be caught behind by Geraint Jones after adding just five runs to his overnight score of 32. India were then 94 for four and once again the onus fell on Rahul Dravid to bring India back into the game.
The England seamers, having tasted blood with the wicket of Yuvraj early, bowled with fire and purpose to push India further on the backfoot.
Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard bowled an inspired spell of fast bowling as they made the ball rear from a short of the good length and the former also hitting Dhoni on the back of his head The Indian wicket keeper, however, replied in the only way he could pulling the England stand-in captain to the midwicket fence for a boundary and then following it up with a smashing cover drive.
Flintoff placed three fielders in the deep on the leg side in a bid to trap Dhoni but Dhoni did not fall prey and played sensibly.
Anderson was then brought in and he immediately had the Indians in trouble and but for the butter-fingered English fielders, he could have had more wickets to his name.
Dhoni was first given a let off when a powerful off drive went uppishly to Monty Panesar at mid-off, but the spinner could not latch on to the catch to give the Indian wicket keeper a reprieve. Dhoni was then on 23 and the Indian score on 137 for 4.
Meanwhile, the Indian captain, playing his 100th Test match, soon completed his half century which was studded with six fours and looked set for a bigger score. Three balls after Dhoni was dropped, Dravid tried to cut Anderson and the ball went flying straight to gully where substitute fielder Matthew Prior was standing. The ball went straight into his hands only to be dropped down with the Indian captain on 52 then.
However, in Anderson's next over, Dravid trying to leg glance got a faint tickle onto the bat and Jones completed his fourth catch of the innings diving to his left to bring off another spectacular catch. Dravid made 52 and India's score was then 142 for five.
Pathan and Dhoni then added 44 runs before Pathan was caught at mid-off by Hoggard off Shaun Udal for 26.
Dhoni then brought up his 50 and when the second new ball was taken, he smashed three fours of Flintoff to set the tone of his innings. However, Dhoni went for a non-existent run after pushing to midwicket and was brilliantly run out by James Anderson, being dismissed for 64 which was studded with 10 boundaries.
Harbhajan was also removed by Anderson for 2 being caught behind to give Jones his fifth catch of the innings.
Munaf Patel became Anderson's fourth victim after making seven to leave Sreesanth unbeaten on 29, his highest Test score.
Following is the scoreboard of the Indian first innings on the third day of the third and final Test between India and England being played at the Wankhede stadium here today.
England 1st innings:400 India first innings: (overnight 89 for three) W Jaffer c G Jones b M Hoggard 11 V Sehwag c O Shah b M Hoggard 6 R Dravid c G Jones b J Anderson 52 S Tendulkar c G Jones b J Anderson 1 Y Singh c G Jones b A Flintoff 37 M Dhoni run out (Anderson) 64 I Pathan c M Hoggard b Udal 26 A Kumble lbw b M Panesar 30 H Singh c G jones b J Anderson 2 S Sreesanth not out 29 M Patel b J Anderson 7 Extras: (b4 , lb7 , nb 3) 14 TOTAL: all out in 104.1 overs 279 FOW: 1-9, 2-24, 3-28, 4-94, 5-142 6-186, 7-212, 8-217, 9-272, 10-279 Bowling: M Hoggard 22-6-54-2 A Flintoff 21-4-68-1 J Anderson 19.1-8-40-4 M Panesar 26-7-53-1 S Udal 16-2-53-1