first_imgEngland have a firm grip on the match as this 2000th Test at Lord’s heads into the final day. Score | PhotosBatting in their second essay India were 80/1 at stumps with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman as the crease.India now need 378 to win with 9 wickets in hand. The target though massive has gained more weight considering Sachin Tendulkar is down with viral and Gautam Gambhir is injured. Besides, Zaheer Khan pulled his hamstring on the first day.Meanwhile, England have already made their intentions clear and the central figure in their scheme of things would be Stuart Borad.Calling his performance impressive in this match would be an understatement. He scalped four in the first innings and then put up a 162-run unbeaten partnership with centurion Matt Prior. And then came around to dismiss India opener Abhinav Mukund cheaply.Prior scored an unbeaten 103 while Broad finished with 74 not out as England declared the innings on 269/6 – a massive 458-run target for India.Earlier, Ishant Sharma scalped four to bring India back into the game, but Prior and Broad’s seventh wicket partnership undid his efforts.England started the day with an overnight score of 5/0 and a lead on 193 runs. On Saturday, Rahul Dravid scored an unbeaten 103 leading India to 286 that eventually helped the visitors save the follow-on.  Though England were cruising along with a 200 plus lead in their second essay, Praveen Kumar did his job of putting breaks to the hosts run rate by scalping opener Alastair Cook early. An edge off Cook’s bat was easily lapped up by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wickets when the England score was 23.advertisementSoon the hosts lost their other opener Andrew Strauss when a quicker ball from offie Harbhajan Singh trapped him leg before on 32. England were 54/2 at the stage with a lead of 242 runs.Then it was the turn of the star of the Caribbean series, Ishant Sharma, to come to the fore and he did that is spectacular fashion. He got rid of Kevin Pietersen, who scored an unbeaten double ton in the first innings, and Ian Bell in the space of four balls to push England on the defensive with 55/4 on board. Within a matter of minutes India were back in the game.But Sharma wasn’t finished, in his next over, he struck to remove Jonathan Trott with a ball that moved in sharply to remove his off stump. And England were down to 62/5.At lunch, England were 72/5 with with Eoin Morgan and Matt Prior at the crease.If the first innings belonged to Praveen Kumar, the second belonged to Ishant Sharma, who then came around and sent Eoin Morgan packing on 19 to reduce England to 107/6.Post that wicket Matt Prior took the onus of increasing England’s lead and he didn’t have a choice either as he was the last recognised batsman standing from the England camp. Gradually, Prior and tail-ender Stuart Broad started building on to the lead.Harbhajan Singh, who has just claimed one wicket in the match, did get an opportunity to have Broad as his victim, but Dhoni failed to gather a tough one from Broad’s bat to the disappointment of Harbhajan.After Ishant’s fine spell that lifted Indian players spirits, there was a downer in store, as Gautam Gambhir, fielding at short leg, got hit on the elbow off Matt Prior and was taken off the field. Gambhir was later taken to the hospital for an X-ray. The good news is that he only suffered a bruise.At tea, England were 174/6 with Matt Prior and Stuart Broad in the middle.The duo continued with their partnership in the third session helping England to a good 269/6 declared in the second essay. A lead of 457 runs.In reply India were 80/1 at stumps with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman as the crease on Day 4 of the 100th Test between the two nations.last_img

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