Match report: Ind vs Eng – 2nd Test, Day 3
Mumbai, Nov 25: In an eventful last session, the England spinners claimed early wickets to put the visitors in a commanding position in the second Test. Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann left India reeling at 117 for 7 in the second innings at the end of Day 3, after England were bowled out for 413 in the first innings. At stumps Gautam Gambhir (53*) and Harbhajan Singh (1*) were at the crease as India lead by 31 runs with three wickets in hand and two days remaining in the game.
Panesar claimed a fiver for a second time in the game during the third session, after Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen took England to a respectable position earlier in the day.
Cook and Pietersen dominated most of the morning session. The England captain looked in sublime touch as he reached his 22nd Test ton. Driving Harbhajan through off, Cook posted his fourth century as captain in four Tests, a feat not achieved before. An over later, Kevin Pietersen also brought up his 22nd Test hundred with a reverse sweep off Harbhajan.
While Cook took 236 balls to reach his hundred, Pietersen got there off just 127 deliveries. The duo equaled the record for most Test centuries by England batsmen; a feat they now share with Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott.
Later, a quicker and flighted delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin drawing Cook (122) forward gave India a much required breakthrough; the ball nicked the bat and landed safely in MS Dhoni’s gloves.
A few overs later Pragyan Ojha claimed Jonny Bairstow. Gambhir at mid-off fumbled before holding on to the catch close to his chest. With the fall of that wicket England went into lunch at 298 for four, trailing by 29 runs.
Samit Patel then walked out to bat with Pietersen in the second session. Patel, tested by bouncers from Zaheer Khan was lucky to get a top-edge for a six to open his account, while Pietersen at the other end cruised towards his 150. After getting to the landmark, he leveled England’s score with India’s tally with a single and in the next over took the visitors past the home team with another single.
However, a while later, Patel edged Ojha to Virat Kohli in the slips; and the spinner then claimed Pietersen to complete his fiver. The ball took a faint edge of the southpaw’s bat and landed in the keeper’s gloves to end the entertaining and valuable 233-ball innings at 186.
Stuart Broad then joined Matt Prior at the crease, but that partnership ended before taking shape with Prior getting run out. The rest of the lower order then returned for single-digit scores.
In the following over Harbhajan claimed Broad off the first ball and trapped James Anderson lbw off the last one. Cheteshwar Pujara took a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his left at silly point to send back Broad and give the off-spinner his first scalp on his return to Test cricket.
Panesar then came in and lofted Ashwin over square-leg for a boundary, but on the next ball he holed out to Yuvraj Singh at deep mid-wicket. The England innings was wrapped up for 413; an 86-run 1st innings lead.
The last session saw India come out to bat and lose their top order in a hurry. After Gambhir and Virender Sehwag commenced the last session, the latter was the first to depart for nine, caught at gully by Swann off Panesar. Pujara soon followed him back after adding just six runs to the total. 15 runs later, Sachin Tendulkar was trapped leg-before by the English left-arm spinner for eight. At 52 for three, Kohli then joined Gambhir at the crease, but his stay too did not last long. A few overs later, he hit a full toss from Swann straight to mid-off where substitute Joe Root pocketed the catch. Panesar’s next scalp was Yuvraj Singh, who was caught at short-leg by Bairstow.
With half the side back in the pavilion for 78, Indian captain MS Dhoni came out to the middle and helped India to a lead along with Gambhir. But Dhoni too was soon dismissed by Panesar soon for six. Panesar then followed up with the wicket of Ashwin to leave India gasping for breath at 110 for seven. While the rest of the line-up succumbed to spin, Gambhir reached his half-century with a boundary off Swann in the last over of the day and took India into the penultimate day with Harbhajan Singh.
At the end of Day 3: England 1st innings 413 all out in 121.3 overs (K Pietersen 186, A Cook 122, PP Ojha 5/143); India 2nd innings 117/7 in 33 overs (G Gambhir 53*, H Singh 1*, M Panesar 5/61, G Swann 2/39)
At the end of Day 2: India 1st innings 327 all out in 115.1 overs (C Pujara 135, R Ashwin 68, M Panesar 5/129, G Swann 4/70); England 1st innings 178/2 in 65 overs (A Cook 87*, K Pietersen 62*, PP Ojha 2/65)
At the end of Day 1: India 1st innings 266/6 in 90 overs (C Pujara 114*, R Ashwin 60*, M Panesar 4/91)