Anderson paves way for perfect England victory

LONDON, (Reuters) – England produced a disciplined  and determined bowling display at Lord’s yesterday to dismiss  the world’s most talented batting lineup for the second time and  win their 100th test against India by 196 runs.

James Anderson was the home side’s hero on the final day of  the first test with five for 65, including the wickets of Rahul  Dravid (36), VVS Laxman (56) and Sachin Tendulkar (12).

The trio have accumulated more than 35,000 test runs between  them for the world’s top-ranked side, with Tendulkar holding the  world record of 14,738.

Captain Andrew Strauss preferred to praise the overall  contribution of Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Stuart Broad and  Graeme Swann rather than dwell on individuals.

“I think over the two innings it was as close to the perfect  bowling performance as we have had in the last two years,”  Strauss said. “That’s saying a lot because we have bowled  exceptionally well quite consistently.”

Spectators queued throughout the early hours of the morning  for the last day of the 2,000th test with 20,000 tickets  available for the last rites of a consistently engrossing match.

More than 25,000 people crammed into the game’s world  headquarters in addition to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)  members with support equally divided for England and India.“I think it was a great atmosphere,” Strauss said. “You  expect Indians to have a lot of support over here and it was  fantastic. I think there was a lot of support for us as well.

Gautam Gambhir is given out leg-before wicket to Graeme Swann by umpire Asad Rauf.

“That added to the mix, we all appreciate playing test  matches in front of full houses. It makes you feel that you are  doing something important, it makes you feel that every wicket  you take, every run you score is appreciated by someone.

“The more crowds we have over the the course of the summer  the better not just for us but for the future of test cricket.”

As it had been in the World Cup final in Mumbai on April 2,  the stage was set for the greatest batsman of modern times to  complete 100 international centuries.

Once again, though, Tendulkar failed to deliver, extending  instead his mystifyingly mediocre record at Lord’s. Tendulkar  made 18 in Mumbai, albeit in a winning cause, and 34 in the  first innings at Lord’s on Saturday.

Still feeling the effects of a virus which kept him off the  field for most of Sunday, he was all but strokeless on Monday,  labouring for 85 minutes for 12 runs.

He survived an appeal for lbw on 11 when the ball looked to  have hit straight in front of the stumps and was dropped on 12  by Strauss at first slip, the second lapse by the England  skipper who also dropped Dravid in India’s first innings.

“He (Tendulkar) felt weak after the first innings,” said  India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “He’s much better now but I  wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent.”

By time Tendulkar had arrived at the crease India’s were  already rocking after Dravid was out lbw to Anderson having  added just one to his overnight total.

Laxman batted calmly to reach his 53rd test half-century  with eight boundaries but he gifted his wicket to Anderson,  playing a loose shot which was caught by Ian Bell at mid-wicket.

His dismissal brought Tendulkar to the crease with a  standing ovation from a packed Lord’s crowd.
Gautam Gambhir was out lbw to Graeme Swann and at lunch  India were a precarious 142 for four and when Tendulkar failed  to fire after the interval the writing was on the wall for India  despite a fighting 78 from Suresh Raina.

ZAHEER MISSED
With three tests remaining in the series followed by five  one-day matches and a tour of Australia to follow this year,  Tendulkar will assuredly reach a landmark unlikely to be  equalled. But at the age of 38, it will not now come at Lord’s  where his test average is 21.66 compared to an overall 56.68.

Strauss said before the match that he thought England were  ready to assume the mantle of world test champions. They will  overtake India in the rankings if they win the series by at  least a two-match margin.
“To be the number one side in the world you have to grab  opportunities,” he said yesterday. “I think we did that very  well in this game. But it’s the first match in a four-match  series so we can’t get carried away.

“I think we just demonstrated that when we play well we’re a  match for anyone. We have got to make sure we play well again.”

Dhoni, who hit an unbeaten 91 in the World Cup final against  Sri Lanka and who has yet to lose a test series as captain, said  the loss of his leading strike bowler Zaheer Khan with a  hamstring injury on the opening day had been crucial.“It became quite tough for us to manage the bowlers after  losing Zaheer,” he said. “It was very difficult for us to  manoeuvre with three bowlers. We didn’t have too many options.”

Dhoni said uneven bounce yesterday had troubled his batsmen  while he had also been forced to change his batting order.  Dravid opened the batting in place of Gambhir, who had suffered  a painful blow on his elbow while fielding, and Tendulkar came  in at number five instead of four.

“It was tough for the batsmen and most of them were batting  in different slots. I think that also added pressure,” he said.

The teams have only three days off before the second test  begins at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday. The third is  scheduled for Edgbaston and the series concludes at the Oval.

SCOREBOARD

England first innings 474-8 declared (K. Pietersen 202 not   out, M. Prior 71, J. Trott 70; Praveen Kumar 5-106)           
India first innings 286 (R. Dravid 103 not out)       
England second innings 269-6 declared (M. Prior 103 not out,  S. Broad 74 not out)       
India second innings (overnight 80-1)    
A. Mukund b Broad                                          12
R. Dravid c Prior b Anderson                        36
VVS Laxman c Bell b Anderson                    56
G. Gambhir lbw b Swann                              22
S. Tendulkar lbw b Anderson                        12
S. Raina c Prior b Anderson                           78
MS Dhoni c Prior b Tremlett                          16
Harbhajan Singh c Tremlett b Anderson   12
P. Kumar b Broad                                                 2
Zaheer Khan not out                                            0
I. Sharma lbw b Broad                                         1
Extras (nb-6 lb-6 b-2)                                       14
Total (all out, 96.3 overs)                              261     
Fall of wickets: 1-19 2-94 3-131 4-135 5-165 6-225 7-243  8-256 9-260 10-261
Bowling: Anderson 28-7-65-5, Tremlett 21-4-44-1 (6nb), Broad  20.3-4-57-3, Swann 22-3-64-1, J. Trott 2-0-11-0, K. Pietersen  3-0-12-0
Result: England won by 196 runs
England lead the four match series 1-0

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