After an enthralling day’s cricket which went one way then the other, England have the chance to clinch victory on Monday and go one nil up in the four match series.
Starting the day with a lead approaching two hundred and all ten wickets still intact, most expected England to push on towards a lead of 400 plus, especially as bright sunshine seemed to indicate fairly good batting conditions.
England progressed to 54 for one without too many problems after the early loss of run machine Alistair Cook but then a spell of inspired bowling from Indian seamer, Ishant Sharma, blew England’s top order batsmen away. From 54 for one the hosts slumped to 62 for five, with the first innings hero Kevin Pietersen out for one, second time round.
Matt Prior steadies ship with fine century
With England in trouble, out stepped the impressive Matt Prior, who steadied the ship with a partnership of 45 with Morgan. Once Morgan departed, any remaining jitters in the England camp were soon dissipated by an outstanding and record breaking seventh wicket stand between Prior and Broad, who made a quick and vital half century after taking four Indian wickets.
Prior took the limelight and deserved it for his accomplished and rapid century which steered England to an imposing total whilst giving them a good three and a half sessions to bowl the visitors out.
Veterans hold on
Facing a potentially nervous couple of hours batting, the Indians soon lost newcomer, Mukund. However veterans, Dravid and VVS Laxman hung on through some hostile bowling from England’s tall quicks to take India to 80 for one at the close of play.
With India needing another 380 odd runs to claim an unlikely victory, England are heavy favourites to get a result. But if any team can chase down a total of 450 it is an Indian side containing some of the batting greats of the last decade. And with Sachin Tendulkar on a mission to score a maiden test century at the home of cricket, don’t count out India just yet! Tomorrow promises to be a captivating day’s cricket.