Follow on one wicket away

A monumental score in the bank, India now had a job to do with the ball. They would look to Anil Kumble to do a job he has done so many times in the past, while their seamers would prove to find extravagant swing, sharing five wickets between them today.

After Andrew Strauss’ late dismissal yesterday, Alistair Cook and James Anderson began the day’s play. They added a frustrating 66 together, of which Cook scored the lion’s share, though Anderson did show a decent technique. India’s frustration though, was partly their own doing; Cook was shelled twice during his innings of 61.

RP Singh claimed the first wicket of the day, Anderson for 16, before Kumble made Cook his first victim of the day, a leading edge finding mid off. Kumble’s second and last victim of the day would be Michael Vaughan, in the last over before lunch. Unable to repeat his century of two weeks ago, he drove a googly from Kumble straight back to him; the veteran rarely makes mistakes off his own bowling.

Resuming after lunch, England almost managed to bat through the second session without losing a wicket. Almost, but not quite. Kevin Pietersen was a lot more patient and reserved than usual during his 41, coping well as Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan swung the ball huge distances, but he could not resist the temptation of going after Sachin Tendulkar.

Brought on shortly before tea, Tendulkar’s first ball wasn’t quite full enough for the drive Pietersen attempted, and Rahul Dravid snaffled it at slip, to ensure India took something from the middle session. Pietersen had looked a lot more likely to make a big score than the man he added 78 with, Paul Collingwood.

Collingwood survived a very close lbw appeal second ball, and played and missed countless times. However, he managed to accumulate 62, an innings with plenty of his customary nudges through the legside, as well as opening up for the odd offside boundary. Once Pietersen had gone, Collingwood’s partner was Ian Bell, the two having the aim of seeing England to the close.

They wouldn’t get that far, but would add 86, before he was trapped lbw by Sreesanth with the new ball, another questionable decision, replays suggested it may only just clip the leg stump. Bell fell five overs later, in something of a lower order collapse.

Bell made 63, an innings perhaps more aggressive than one would expect in the situation. He was not afraid to use his feet against the spin of Tendulkar and Kumble, though they were a few heart in mouth moments, especially when he proved unable to pick Kumble.

He became India’s second wicket with the new ball, playing at a wide one from Zaheer Khan, a disappointing end to a good innings. Two more wickets fell in rapid succession, Sidebottom pulling a short one from Zaheer straight up in the air, for the simplest of caught and bowled catches.

Matt Prior was unable to make up for a poor keeping performance with the bat, he looked all at sea before being caught at slip off Sreesanth. Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett were able to see out the remaining six overs without losing the last wicket, giving Rahul Dravid the chance to sleep on his decision to follow on or not.

India 664
Anil Kumble 110*, MS Dhoni 92, Dinesh Karthik 91, Sachin Tendulkar 82
James Anderson 4/182, Monty Panesar 2/159

England 326/9
Ian Bell 63, Paul Collingwood 62, Alistair Cook 61
Zaheer Khan 3-32, Sreesanth 2-80, Anil Kumble 2-86

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