Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir provide India steady start against England

Gautam Gambhir was unbeaten on 33 at Lunch on the fourth day PTI

Kolkata: Dec 8, 2012

India responded strongly in the second innings and raced to 86 for no loss at lunch after conceding a lead of 207 on the fourth day of the third cricket Test against England on Saturday.

Virender Sehwag was unbeaten on a quick-fire 49 from 56 balls (7×4) while Gautam Gambhir was batting on 33 (70b, 3×4, 1×6) after the first session on day four.

Earlier in the morning, India restricted the first innings lead to 207, bowling England out for 523 scalping four wickets in 4.3 overs with England managing to add just 14 runs to their overnight total.

Pragyan Ojha, who was the most successful Indian bowler with 4/124, struck in his very second ball of the day when Swann (21) edged one at first slip to be dismissed without any addition to the total.

Off-colour Zaheer Khan also got into the act, picking his first wicket of the match after bowling 30 overs when the left-arm pacer’s in-cutter took Matt Prior‘s nick before being caught by Dhoni.

The second blow for England with the addition of just one run to the overnight total of 509 opened the gates for India as Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets — James Anderson (9) and Monty Panesar (0) — in succession to wipe out the tail.

Ashwin’s second wicket, in fact, was a poor decision by umpire Kumar Dharmasena who raised his finger for an appeal of leg before that had a thick inside edge before hitting the pad.

In reply, India in their second essay rode on a bit of luck as Sehwag got a reprieve on seven when Graeme Swann dropped a straight catch at the second slip, while Gambhir too survived on 12 when Ian Bell put down a difficult one at short leg.

But barring the two miscues, Sehwag and Gambhir dominated the English bowlers.

England looked to exploit the four-day old track with an all-spin attack by the 10th over in the morning but there was little on offer from the track as the Indians made a quick progress.

Brief Scores: India 316 (Sachin Tendulkar 76, MS Dhoni 52; Monty Panesar 4 for 90, James Anderson 3 for 89) & 86 for no loss (Virender Sehwag 49*, Gautam Gambhir 33*) trail England 523 (Alastair Cook 190, Jonathan Trott 66, Kevin Pietersen 54, Matt Prior 41; Pragya Ojha 4 for 142, Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 183) by 121 runs.

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