PHOTOS: Ashwin scores half-century to delay inevitable
India's No 9 batsman R Ashwin (83 batting) scored a defiant half-century to help India take a 32-run lead in their second innings on Day 4 of the third Test against England on Saturday.
The Indian tail frustrated the England bowlers and succeeded in pushing the match to the fifth day, reaching 239 for nine at close at the Eden Gardens, on the penultimate day.
Inda's last two wickets added 80 runs after being at a precarious 159 for eight at one stage.
The Indian middle-order failed to put up even a semblance of a fight after starting the morning on a positive note.
Image: R Ashwin
India clean up England tail early
Pragyan Ojha stuck early for India on the fourth morning, off the second ball, having Graeme Swann (21) caught by Virender Sehwag at first slip.
Swann's 46-ball knock was inclusive of three boundaries and he helped Prior put 57 runs for the seventh wicket.
Zaheer then struck in the second over, having Prior (41) caught behind. Prior's 49-ball innings included six boundaries and a six.
After a couple of positive strokes, James Anderson was caught by Sehwag at slips two overs later.
Then Monty Panesar was the trapped leg before -- a doubtful decision -- and England were bowled out for 523, with a sizeable lead of 207 runs.
Image: Indian players celebrate after taking the wicket of Graeme Swann
Gambhir-Sehwag give India steady start
The Indian openers, Gautam Gambhir (40) and Virender Sehwag (49) batted positively. They batted at a brisk pace and hammered James Anderson and Steve Finn for boundaries.
Sehwag got a reprieve on seven when a miscommunication between Swann and Cook at slips saw the ball race to the fence.
Swann was introduced in the eight over, replacing Finn, and was also welcome by Sehwag with a boundary.But, he along with Monty Panesar kept it tight. But Sehwag and Gambhir had settled down well and looked good to compile a huge opening partnership. They continued mauling the England bowlers with the odd hit to the boundary and managed to stay together till lunch (86 without loss).
Image: Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir
Indian batsmen fall like nine-pins
Swann struck for England off the first ball after lunch -- Sehwag missed the line of the deliver to be cleaned bowled and miss a deserved fifty.
Cheteshwar Pujara (8) joined Gambhir at the crease and looked in sublime touch. He started his innings with two smooth boundaries. But his stay at the crease was short-lived after being run-out off a direct hit by Ian Bell. Gambhir was again the culprit, calling wrongly.
It seemed like he didn't let the fall of Pujara affect him when he slammed Finn for a boundary in the next over. But Finn had his revenge soon after, having the Indian opener caught behind.
Gambhir's fall saw Virat Kohli (20) join Sachin Tendulkar (5) in the middle.
Image: Steven Finn celebrates after dismissing Gautam Gambhir
Tendulkar fails again
A lot was expected of Tendulkar, especially after having struck a half-century in the first innings.
However, all expectations fell flat as the batting maestro perished to a poor stroke -- caught at slip by Jonathan Trott off Graeme Swann's bowling.
India's batting would have been in tatters had Ian Bell not let-off Kohli at short leg when on four.
But India's freefall continued and it was Yuvraj Singh (11) who was Anderson's next victim. Anderson struck again a couple overs later to have India captain, Dhoni, caught by Cook and by this time India were staring at the barrel at 125 for six after 43 overs.After tea, Finn took out Kohli and Zaheer Khan in alternate overs to have India in deep trouble.
Image: Graeme Swann celebrates after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar
Ashwin, Ishant frustrate England bowlers
But Ashwin and Ishant Sharma frustrated the England bowlers and stitched up 38 runs for the ninth wicket before Ishant (1) was cleaned up by Panesar.
In the meanwhile, Ashwin went on to complete his 3rd Test fifty and Pragyan Ojha defended well to take the match to the fifth day.Steve Finn (3/37), James Anderson (2/38) and Graeme Swann were (2/70) were the wicket-takers for England.
Image: James Anderson celebrates the wicket of Yuvraj Singh