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Rediff.com  » Cricket » India bag three England wkts after Pujara's double hundred

India bag three England wkts after Pujara's double hundred

Last updated on: November 16, 2012 17:20 IST

A collective effort put India in a commanding position on Day 2 of the opening Test against England in Motera on Friday.

Having declared their first innings on a mammoth 521 for eight, highlighted by a magnificent 206 not out by Cheteshwar Pujara, the home team reduced the visitors to 41 for three at stumps.

- Scorecard

Alastair Cook was batting on 22, with Kevin Pietersen on six.

If England are to make a match out of this one these two need to play well on the third day.

With three days left, an Indian win seems the only possible result.

Earlier, Pujara registered his maiden double hundred, having batted for over eight hours.

The 24-year-old Rajkot-born batsman is only the sixth Indian to hit a double century against England. He joins an elite club of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Vinod Kambli and Rahul Dravid.

Cheteshwar Pujara Graeme Swann was the pick of the English bowlers, with figures of five for 144.

Morning session (87 runs, 31 overs, 0 wickets)

England tried very hard, but to no avail. The wicket they so desperately required on the second morning never came.

The Indian batsmen, on the other hand, did not have to do much. The wicket was doing a lot and it was just a matter of applying themselves.

- Youngest Indians to score a double ton

In the final analysis, the opening session on Day Two ensured consolidation for the hosts while adding to the frustration of the visitors.

It took four overs before Pujara got the two runs required to complete a well-deserved century. It was the second Test hundred for the 24-year-old -- after his 159 against New Zealand in Hyderabad -- and the first in front of his home fans.

Swann's third over of the day was an expensive one, 15 runs coming of it, with Yuvraj helping himself to a boundary and a six. The over brought about the 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

It was slow progress from then on as Swann and Anderson kept things tight despite managing to get a breakthrough.

Samit Patel was introduced into the attack immediately after the first drinks break, replacing Swann (8-3-25-0 in the morning), and his first over cost England eight runs, with Yuvraj hitting a boundary off the third ball to complete his 11th Test fifty.

It was the left-hander's fourth Test fifty against England.

At lunch, Pujara was unbeaten on 133; giving him company was Yuvraj Singh, on 72, the two having put on 127 runs for the fifth wicket.

The home team is comfortably placed at 410 for four.

Post-lunch session (92 runs, 31 overs, 2 wickets)

England got the breakthrough they so desperately needed soon after resumption.

Patel had Yuvraj (74) caught by Swann at long-on. It was a shame that the batsman, having settled down so well, got dismissed to a full toss.

Yuvi's 151-ball innings was inclusive of six fours and two sixes; he and Pujara put on 130 runs for the fifth wicket.

Soon after, a single off Bresnan helped Pujara get to the 150-run mark for the second time in his fledgling career.

Swann returned to bowl in the 135th over and struck with his fifth delivery, MS Dhoni (5) playing it onto his stumps. The Indian captain's dismissal gave Swann his fifth wicket of the innings.

It was the 33-year-old offie's 14th five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

R Ashwin joined Pujara at the crease and the two ensured England did not add to their list of successes in the session.

Post-Tea session: (19 runs, 8 overs, 2 wickets)

The day's final session witnessed Pujara complete his double hundred. A single off Anderson helped the Saurashtra batsman reach the landmark. It took him 374 balls to achieve the feat.

The 24-year-old, known for making big scores at the domestic level, pitched in with a similar performance on the biggest stage. In doing so he became the 19th Indian batsman to score a double hundred. His is the 41st double ton by an Indian.

Pietersen provided the visitors their first success of the period by having Ashwin (23) caught behind. Ashwin's 52-ball knock was inclusive of two boundaries. He and Pujara put on 66 runs for the seventh wicket.

Zaheer Khan (7) did not last long either, Anderson having him caught by Jonathan Trott at point.

India declared shortly after, on 521 for eight.

England innings:

The visitors were left to negotiate 18 overs before the end of the day's play.

Alastair Cook and debutant Nick Compton opened the batting, while it was Ashwin who began proceedings for the hosts.

England's captain helped himself to a couple of boundaries in the first over and another in the second by Zaheer.

It did not take long for India to get the breakthrough though, Ashwin getting through the gate of Compton (9) in his sixth over.

It was Ashwin's 50th wicket, in only his ninth Test, a new Indian record, besting Anil Kumble's mark (10 Tests).

The English strategy of sending in a nightwatchman didn't work either as Pragyan Ojha had Anderson (2) caught by Gautam Gambhir at short leg.

To make matters worse, Jonathan Trott failed to open his account, Ashwin having him caught by Pujara at short leg.

Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images