Images: Broad hat-trick restricts India's lead
Rahul Dravid cracked his second consecutive century before Stuart Broad's hat-trick triggered a dramatic collapse to restrict India's lead to 67 runs on the second day of the second Test against England on Saturday.
The veteran Dravid (117) notched up his 34th century to equal Sunil Gavaskar's record but India lost six wickets for a mere 21 runs to allow the hosts come back into the game on a Trent Bridge track which provided assistance to quick bowlers.
Broad, who has been tormenting the Indians in the series, claimed the wickets of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5), Harbhajan Singh (0) and Praveen Kumar (0) to record a hat-trick in front of his home crowd and change the complexion of the game at the fag end of the eventful second day.
Harbhajan's leg-before-decision decision was though a howler from field umpire Marais Erasmus as the ball clearly got the edge from his bat before hitting the pads.
The visitors, trailing the four-match series 0-1, were comfortably placed at 267 for four at one stage before Broad's career best 6/46 wrecked havoc to the Indian innings.
India could manage a first innings lead of just 67 runs though at one point of time they looked like taking a sizeable lead.
England were 24 for one at the close of play, still trailing by 43 runs with nine second innings wickets in hand.
Captain Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell were batting on six and nine respectively at the draw of stumps.
Image: Rahul Dravid celebrates after completing his century
Photographs: Getty Images
Dravid stands tall amongst ruins
Ishant Sharma claimed Alistair Cook (5) at the slip cordon and Ian Bell came in at one down as regular number three Jonathan Trott appeared to have hurt his right shoulder while tumbling to stop a shot from Dravid in the afternoon session and did not come out to bat.
There was every reason for Dravid to be crestfallen as his 34th Test century, the sixth against England and the third in last five Tests, had England on the ropes, no less because he shared two big stands for 93 runs with Laxman and 128 with Yuvraj for the second and fifth wickets respectively.
Image: Rahul Dravid plays a shot during the second Test
Broad registers maiden hat-trick
But Broad laid it to waste, claiming Dhoni, Harbhajan and Praveen off successive balls in his 23rd over, the eighth with the second new ball.
Dhoni was dismissed when he drove at a widish delivery, more in hope than with conviction and was caught in the slip cordon for five to trigger the dramatic Indian collapse.
Broad thus became the 12th England bowler to claim a hat-trick, this being the 39th such instance in the history of Test cricket.
Before the hat-trick, Broad had dismissed Yuvraj via a catch to wicketkeeper for 62 -- an innings of 115 balls and containing 10 fours -- to bring to a close a frustrating fifth wicket stand for England.
The fall of quick four wickets at the other end clearly rattled Dravid who wildly cut at Tim Bresnan delivery to be caught at third man for 117 runs, after grinding hard for 370 minutes and 235 balls and hitting 15 fours.
Ishant and Sreesanth chanced their arms for a few deliveries before the latter was caught at forward short leg off Broad who now has 13 wickets from the series from three innings so far.
Image: Stuart Broad celebrates after completing his hat-trick
Laxman hit a patient half-century
But for this dramatic final three quarter of an hour, India's batting was on a redemption mission as only three wickets had been lost in nearly four and half hours of resolute batting.
Dravid was the implacable rock in this revival, being not out on 44 and 83 at lunch and tea break, before raising his hundred in the final session with a sweep of Graeme Swann which went for four.
Nothing could get Dravid off his mission, neither the formidable England fast bowlers nor the vagrant pitch where ball tended to rise abruptly at times.
India, resuming at their overnight score of 24 for one, lost Laxman in the first session, caught behind off a lifting Bresnan delivery but not before he had, along with Dravid, put England bowling to sword.
Laxman resisted England attack for 150 minutes and hit 10 fours from 112 balls for his 54. This was the right-handed batsman's fifth half century from the last four Tests.
Image: VVS Laxman celebrates after completing his half-century
Yuvraj-Dravid steady Indian innings
India lost two quick wickets of Sachin Tendulkar (16) and Suresh Raina (12) in the afternoon session before the lurching ship was again steadied by Dravid and Yuvraj.
Yuvraj, who was in the playing eleven only because opener Gautam Gambhir was injured, had a slice of luck when he steered a Broad delivery straight into the hands of Kevin Pietersen at point but the fielder let go off the chance.
Yuvraj was on four and India were 144 for four at that stage.
India flourished, largely because England's three fast bowlers needed a break before the second new ball was due.
Off-spinner Graeme Swann, suffering an injury on his non-bowling hand while batting in England's first innings, was creamed for 76 runs from his 12 overs.
The trend continued for a while in the final session when Indians pillaged 43 runs from seven overs before Broad caused the mayhem.
Image: Yuvraj Singh plays a shot during his match against England