England edge in front

After their excellent batting performance yesterday, it was the turn to shine of England’s bowlers today. Matthew Hoggard grabbed two and their was one for James Anderson as England seized the advantage.

Before that though, England’s batsmen carried on where they left off yesterday, hoping to build a big total. Paul Collingwood and Andrew Flintoff were unbeaten overnight, and built a solid partnership in the morning. They put on 53 in the morning, to add to 31 the previous evening before Collingwood edged an impressive Sreesanth behind.

Flintoff soon joined Collingwood in the pavillion, Tendulkar taking the fourth chance he offered India in the morning at midwicket. Now free from cramp, Owais Shah was now back at the crease, partnered by Geraint Jones. Jones soon edged one to gully, and Shah found himself batting the tail. He began to get into his stride, working well with the tail, even when Patel had removed Hoggard and Udal.

As he began to get a debut century in his sights, an edge brought a superb catch from Rahul Dravid at slip, and Shah was gone for 88. Anderson and Panesar got them to 400, but Anderson was caught at bat-pad off Harbhajan. England’s batting performance will have disappointed them, they added 128 for the loss of seven today, but lost their last seven for 74, and five of those for 28.

The pitch was still good for batting, but the English bowlers were able to take advantage of the bounce it offered them. England once again put their plan for Sehwag into motion and it paid off before long, as he gloved one a short behind yet again. A short one also brought the wicket of Jaffer gloved behind on the legside this time.

England resisted the urge to over attack, and still did their best to cut off singles. After scoring just one off his first 20 balls Tendulkar reached for one well wide of his off-stump and got a nick to Jones. India were 28-3 off 18 overs, with the relatively inexperienced Yuvraj joining Dravid at the crease.

With Dhoni and Pathan in next, Yuvraj was the specialist batsman, and it was important that he and Dravid made contributions. They added 61 before the end of play, more than twice as many runs as the previous three partnerships in just five balls more. Yuvraj raced to 30 off 27 balls, but England’s fielders dropped back and he added just two more before the close. England’s spinners were not threatening in the slightest and while Panesar was economical, Udal’s four overs cost 27.

With India still having plenty of batting to come, this match looks very interesting, and if England can take some wickets in the morning session tomorrow, the match is theirs for the taking.

England 400 All out
Andrew Strauss 128, Owais Shah 88, Andrew Flintoff 50
Sreesanth 4-70, Harbhajan Singh 3-89

India 89-3
Rahul Dravid 37*, Yuvraj Singh 32*
Matthew Hoggard 2-16, James Anderson 1-15

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