England take command of third test

BIRMINGHAM, England, (Reuters) – England enjoyed  another dominant day against India by bowling the tourists out  for 224 on the first day of the third test at Edgbaston yesterday before closing on 84 without loss.

Andrew Strauss, who won the toss for the first time in the  four-match series, was 52 not out and Alastair Cook was on 27  after India’s pace bowlers were unable to exact any kind of  control.

Strauss raised England’s 50 with a square cut for four off  Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for his seventh boundary that took him  to 31. He later registered his own half-century 13 balls from  the close, his first test fifty of the English summer.

Stuart Broad
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni raised India’s spirits  with an enterprising 77 from 96 balls, leading a fightback from  111 for seven after lunch. Dhoni and Praveen Kumar (26) added a  run-a-ball 84 for the eighth wicket to frustrate England. Tim  Bresnan (four for 62) and Stuart Broad (four for 53) shared the  wickets.

“It was pretty tough,” India coach Duncan Fletcher told  reporters. “Unfortunately that toss was pretty important. Those  two wickets that England got just before lunch really put us on  the back foot.

“We are not out of the match,” Fletcher added. “If it  doesn’t swing and seam (in the second innings) we have players  there who have 200s and 300s on their CVs. And we have the  bowling also to follow up.”

Bresnan, understandably buoyant after following his test  best figures and 90 with the bat at Trent Bridge, said the team  wanted to bring some joy to the fans following four days of  rioting and civil unrest in Britain.

“It would be nice to win and give something positive back to  England but I wouldn’t say we are motivated by what’s  happening,” Bresnan said. “We’re just going about our business  as we would anyway.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is really good at the  moment.”

India, 2-0 down in the series, started badly. They lost  veteran opener Virender Sehwag, playing his first test in eight  months after recovering from shoulder surgery, to his first  ball.

Sehwag gloved a shortish Broad delivery that he attempted to  leave only to see it seam back into him and flick his glove.  Umpire Steve Davis said not out initially but England’s decision  review was vindicated courtesy of the hot-spot technology.

Gautam Gambhir (38), who started positively with seven  boundaries, tried to drive Bresnan through the covers only to  lose his leg stump off the inside edge.

Sachin Tendulkar (1), still seeking his 100th international  century, received a standing ovation from a near 25,000 capacity  crowd. England captain Andrew Strauss immediately replaced  Bresnan with James Anderson who has dismissed Tendulkar seven  times.
Although Tendulkar lived dangerously for the one over he  faced from Anderson, he departed to Broad in the following over,  pushing at a ball just outside off stump to find Anderson at  third slip.

 DHONI FLOURISHES       
Bresnan bowled Rahul Dravid (22) on the stroke of lunch with  a ball that just left him late to reduce India to 75 for four.  Left-hander Suresh Raina (4) was bowled after the break by an  Anderson delivery that swung back in, between bat and pad.

VVS Laxman (30) looked comfortable in his 41-ball stay at  the crease until he flicked a pull shot off Bresnan to fine-leg  and Amit Mishra (4) edged Broad to the wicketkeeper, before  Dhoni and Kumar came together.

Dhoni was the ninth man out, caught at first slip by Strauss  off Broad. He hit 10 fours and three sixes, including one  slogged over mid-wicket off Bresnan.

“We’re not naive enough to think there’s not going to be a  partnership – you’re never going to just blitz out a tail all  the time,” Bresnan added.

“As the ball gets a bit older and you can’t rough them up as  much, it does get a little bit easier to bat.”
England made one change from the team who won by 319 runs at  Trent Bridge, replacing the injured Jonathan Trott with Ravi  Bopara.
India made three changes with leg-spinner Amit Mishra  replacing injured off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Opener Abhinav  Mukund was replaced by Sehwag and Gambhir came back for injured  batsman Yuvraj Singh.

Victory would put England on top of the test world rankings  ahead of second-placed South Africa and current world leaders  India. England won the first two tests convincingly at Lord’s  and Trent Bridge.

The England players wore wearing black armbands in memory of  Neal Abberley, a former player at Edgbaston and batting mentor  to Ian Bell.
Scoreboard

India first innings    
G. Gambhir b Bresnan                                 38
V. Sehwag c Prior b Broad                           0
R. Dravid b Bresnan                                     22
S. Tendulkar c Anderson b Broad            1
VVS Laxman c Broad b Bresnan           30
S. Raina b Anderson                                     4
MS Dhoni c Strauss b Broad                    77
A. Mishra c Prior b Broad                           4
P. Kumar c Prior b Besnan                       26
I. Sharma c Cook b Anderson                  4
S. Sreesanth not out                                    0
Extras (b-4 lb-14)                                        18
Total (all out, 62.2 overs)                     224   
Fall of wickets: 1-8 2-59 3-60 4-75 5-92 6-100 7-111 8-195  9-224 10-224.
Bowling: Anderson 21.2-3-69-2, Broad 17-6-53-4, Bresnan  20-4-62-4, Swann 4-0-22-0.

England first innings   
A. Strauss not out                                    52
A. Cook not out                                        27
Extras (lb-5)                                                5
Total (for no wicket, 25 overs)          84   
To bat: I. Bell, K. Pietersen, E. Morgan, R. Bopara, M.  Prior, T. Bresnan, S. Broad, G. Swann, J. Anderson.
Bowling: Kumar 9-4-27-0, Sreesanth 5-2-21-0, Sharma  7-2-16-0, Mishra 3-0-13-0, Raina 1-0-2-0.
England won the toss and elected to field.

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