Wednesday, July 27, 2011

England v India: The Lord's Test, Day 3

Day 3 at Lord's was the day destined for an Indian hero to make his first ton at Lord's in what would probably be his last innings in Test cricket at the ground. Yes, that's right, Rahul Dravid. Here's what happened:

Mukund seemingly gets his bat on a full (!!!!) ball from Broad...
But replays suggest that it was toe first, and had Broad appealed, might well have been out. Broad didn't run off to the slips, so he obviously didn't see and the game carried on.
Broad though is bowling a lot better than he did against Sri Lanka. He bowls an absolutely fantastic delivery to dismiss Gambhir...
Who is bowled. India are 63-1 and the relief on Broad's face is telling.
He celebrates with his team-mates and Rahul Dravid is the next man in.
Mukund, on 49, tries to crack one through the covers. Broad bowls one on a decent enough length to tempt him into the drive and he gets an inside edge on it...
And it cannons into the stumps. He's out 1 short of a 50 and India are 77-2. 
It means The Little Master is in. He gets a standing ovation and the expectation of the crowd is huge as he makes his way to the middle. He and Dravid survive until lunch where India find themselves 102-2.
Anderson, who is bowling some absolute tripe, gets hit for a four by Tenduckar.
But there is to be no fairy tale first innings as Broad, who has finally listened to the exasperated shouts at inanimate objects from the people on the sidelines and has decided to pitch it up rather than try to knock everyone's heads off down the leg side (and breathe), finds his outside edge...
And finds Swann taking a good, low catch at second slip to reduce India to 158-3.
England celebrate the massive wicket and in comes Quaxman.
He gets a huge let off when he edges Broad into the slips...
Only for Broad to see his skipper drop an absolute sitter.
Quaxman and Dravid run a single and it means Dravid's on strike.
Broad is absolutely distraught about his captain's missed chance, but there are still 5 more balls in the over.
And off the final one, he finds Dravid's edge...
Only to see it go in and out of Swann's wings at second slip.

Swanny is distraught, he knows how big that wicket would've been and he knows that Stuart Broad is getting angry and might break the tip of his wing like he did with Haider last year.
Still, Swann's drop means Dravid can reach his 50.
He does so with a four off the dropper himself.

The two veterans celebrate Dravid's 50. With Tenduckar out, the spotlight will be on whether or  not he can reach three figures. If it's not, then it should be. 
Meanwhile Quaxman decides to test England's catching ability again.

He plays a leg side flick that goes up in the air...

And straight down Jonathan Trott's throat.
It's a huge relief for Strauss as his blushes have been spared, and India find themselves 182-4.
It gets worse as Swann gets in on the act.
He traps Raina LBW for a two ball duck. 
Raina is not happy, but due to his board's decision to not include the Hawkeye element of the DRS, he has to accept his fate. India are in trouble at 183-5 and they manage to go into the tea break without losing another wicket.
Unfortunately for them, Captain Dhoni is not keen to hang around long. He wafts at one from Tremlett...
And Swanny takes the catch. 240-6.
Harbhajan soon follows for a duck. 
He edges one behind to Prior and India are now 241-7 and now hoping to avoid the follow on.
Kumar comes in and plays a few shots to make sure India pass that follow on target, but the way he's playing means he's not going to hang around for very long. He miscues one from Broad...

And is caught by Andrew Strauss. Broad celebrates for the fact Strauss has caught one more than anything. But Broad has bowled well and has four wickets in Test match, something that he's not done since against Pakistan at Edgbaston in August 2010.
Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid reaches a fantastic century with a four through the leg side off Tremlett.
He celebrates getting on that historic board and is congratulated by Zaheer Khan (many thanks to  muffinnuffin for the donation of the Zaheer duck!) and his runner, Suresh Raina.
Unfortunately for Dravid, his partners aren't as good as sticking around as him. Anderson finally gets a wicket...
As he bowls a very gingerly moving Zaheer for a duck to leave India 284-9.
And a few overs and a couple of runs later, Jimmy snares Ishant Sharma as he edges one behind...

And is caught by Prior. India are 286 all and England are set to face a couple of overs before the close.
It's a good bowling performance by the England side, especially Stuart Broad who many (including my good self, as quite frankly, his bowling has been too short and irritating) thought shouldn't be playing, has proved to his doubters that he can do what they doubted he could actually do and pitch it up on a good length. 
England survive a tricky couple of overs and close on 5-0. The duck of the day is Rahul Dravid, the man who played a fantastic innings to get 103* and finally get his name on the honours board. Most probably hoped it would be Tendulkar, but you could see how much it meant to Dravid. And who could begrudge him that?

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