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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Bowlers give England Day 1 honours in third Test

Bowlers give England Day 1 honours in third Test

Last updated on: December 05, 2012 16:47 IST

England took the opening day's honours in the third Test against India after a tidy display by their bowlers at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

The visitors struck at regular intervals to restrict the hosts to 273 for 7 at stumps. Captain M S Dhoni was unbeaten on 22, with Zaheer Khan (yet to open) for company.

- Scorecard

On a day when India's batting flattered to deceive yet again, it was James Anderson (three for 68) who emerged the pick of England's bowlers.

Monty Panesar (2 for 74) also impressed, while Graeme Swann took his tally in the series to 15 with the wicket of Yuvraj Singh (32).

In the final analysis, it was an impressive bowling performance by the English team, considering the wicket offered no assistance to the bowlers whatsoever.

Sachin Tendulkar returned to form, top-scoring for India with 76.

Morning session (90 runs, 29 overs, two wickets):

MS Dhoni got it right with the coin yet again and had no hesitation in opting to bat first.

Gautam Gambhir (60) and Virender Sehwag (24) appeared to vindicate their captain's decision early on, even as the wicket seemed a flat one, just as Dhoni had presumed on the eve of the match.

Steven Finn, replacing Stuart Broad in the England squad, shared the new ball with James Anderson and Gambhir welcomed him with a couple of boundaries in what was the lanky pacer's first over of the series.

The left-hander, after his second innings half century at the Wankhede, looked in good touch. He got off the blocks faster than his flamboyant partner.

It took Sehwag seven balls to open his account, but he did so in his own inimitable style, smashing an Anderson delivery past Kevin Pietersen at point for a boundary. He got into the mould soon after.

Alastair Cook introduced spin as early as the eighth over, Monty Panesar replacing an expensive Finn (3-0-16-0).

Gambhir welcomed Panesar with a boundary past cover.

The duo put on 47 runs for the opening wicket before a horrible mix-up resulted in Sehwag being run-out. Gambhir was at fault in this case, not even bothering to heed his partner's call.

Cheteshwar Pujara (16) came to the crease and helped Gambhir stabilise the innings in a 41-run stand for the second wicket.

Cook introduced Graeme Swann in the 23rd over in a bid to get a breakthrough, but it was Panesar who got what the England captain wanted, a beautiful arm ball crashing through Pujara's defence.

Gambhir reached his fifty soon after. It's the left hander's 21st Test fifty, his fourth against England and his second in succession, following the 65 in the second innings at the Wankhede.

Post-lunch session (82 runs, 29 overs, two wickets):

A single off Panesar in the fourth over after lunch helped Tendulkar (on two) complete 34,000 runs in international cricket.

The home team got to the 100-run mark in the 34th over, although Gambhir and Tendulkar made slow progress, adding only 29 runs for the third wicket in almost 16 overs.

James Anderson celebrates as Virat Kohli departsThen Panesar struck for the second time, getting extra bounce and inducing an edge off Gambhir's blade. A spectacular reflex catch by Jonathan Trott at first slip did the rest.

The left-hander's 124-ball knock was inclusive of a dozen hits to the fence.

Virat Kohli (6) did not last long either, Anderson having him caught by Swann at second slip.

Yuvraj Singh was fortunate to survive a loud leg before shout from Anderson even before he could open his account, the television replays clearly indicating in favour of the bowler.

The batsman responded with successive boundaries off Swann, the first carved away through point and the second straight past the bowler.

Tendulkar also helped himself to successive boundaries off Anderson to become, in his 31st Test, India's all-time highest run scorer against England, besting Sunil Gavaskar (2483 runs in 38 Tests).

Two boundaries off Swann helped the Master Blaster inch closer to his fifty.

Post-tea session (101 runs, 32 overs, three wickets):

A boundary off the first ball after resumption (from Finn) helped Tendulkar reach his 66th Test fifty. It was his 13th half century against England. More importantly, it was his first 50-plus score in the game's longer version since January.

He celebrated the same with another boundary off the next ball.

In the second over after resumption, by Panesar, Yuvraj stepped out to hit a six over long-off. The shot brought up the 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket (off just 66 balls).

Yuvraj's (32) resistance was ended by Swann, the spinner having the batsman caught by Cook at short extra cover.

Yuvi's 54-ball knock was inclusive of four boundaries and a six; he and Tendulkar put 79 runs for the fifth wicket, a partnership that gave the Indian innings the stability it so desperately needed.

Soon after, Anderson accounted for Tendulkar yet again.

The England seamer has been the batsman's nemesis for a considerable time now, and on this occasion had him caught behind for 76. To give credit where it is due, it was a great catch by Matt Prior.

Tendulkar's 155-ball knock was inclusive of 13 boundaries.

R Ashwin (21) came out to join his captain and the two put on 38 runs for the seventh wicket. However, Cook opted to take the new ball in the 87th over and the impressive Anderson responded by rattling Ashwin's timber with just nine balls left. 

Photograph: BCCI