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Sachin, Dravid sustain India

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 22 (UNI) Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff picked up a wicket each to push India on the backfoot on the fifth and final day of the third Test being played at the Wankhede stadium here today.

India, chasing a record target of 313, had reached 75 for three with at lunch Rahul Dravid on nine and Sachin Tendulkar on 34 at the crease. India still require 238 runs for victory in a minimum of 72 overs with seven wickets in hand.

Resuming at 18 for one, India were immediately put under pressure as Hoggard got nightwatchman Anil Kumble caught on an overnight score of eight. However, Kumble seemed to be a trifle unlucky as the ball looked like going down the leg side. India thus were 21 for two in just the third over of the day.

Jaffer and Dravid then survived some hostile bowling spells.

The introduction of James Anderson from the pavilion end, gave some repreive as Jaffer hit a cover boundary--his first runs of the day after 24 balls.

Jaffer, playing on his home ground, however, did not last long as Flintoff who replaced Hoggard came back from the TATA end and trapped the Mumbai batsman in front with a ball that nipped back in after pitching. Jaffer made 10, and India at 33 for three, were looking down the barrel.

Sachin Tendulkar then joined the Indian captain, and the Master Blaster who has been suffering from a shoulder injury, started of cautiously, as the crowd which had booed him earlier was egging him on this time.

He started with a steer to third man off Flintoff for a boundary and then after surviving some close leg before appeals, opened up to give the crowd lots to cheer for.

Sachin singled out Anderson and after a flick to the mid-wicket boundary.

Flintoff then introduced spinner of Monty Panesar and Tendulkar showed his class hiting boundaries in Panesar's over.

Dravid at the other end, was as solid as ever and preferred to give the strike to sachin blaster as India reached lunch with these two senior batsmen entrenching themselves on the crease.

The two Indian batsmen played the English spinners with ease on a fifth day wicket, which still has good bounce.


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