Bell And Swann Hand England Huge Lead
England 591-6 dec. (Bell 235, Pietersen 175) v
India 103-5 (Dravid 57no, Swann 3-27)
Fourth Test, The Kia Oval, day three
| | Day Two
England's domination of India continued on day three of the fourth and final Test at The Kia Oval as they reduced the tourists to 103 for five at stumps in reply to 591 for six declared.
After Ian Bell was dismissed for a new career-best score of 235, England declared once rain washed away most of the afternoon but they still had time to leave India trailing by 488 runs with five wickets remaining in their first innings.
Graeme Swann played his first significant role in the summer with the ball as he took three for 27 with the key wickets of Sachin Tendulkar (23) and Suresh Raina (0) as well as that of nightwatchman Ishant Sharma for one.
Virender Sehwag made eight in six balls before he was trapped in front by James Anderson while VVS Laxman played a poor shot to be caught by Matthew Prior off Stuart Broad for two.
Rahul Dravid, opening the innings in the absence of Gautam Gambhir, stood firm in making an unbeaten 57 in 108 balls but England were able to remove the rest of the top order, although Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not out on five at stumps, hitting the last ball of the day for four as if to serve notice that India are up for the fight.
They bowled much better early in the day, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth quickly having Anderson caught by VVS Laxman at slip for 13 and then Eoin Morgan caught by Dhoni for one.
Bell then moved to a maiden double-century and pushed on to make 235 in 364 deliveries with 23 fours and two sixes before he got too far across the line and was trapped in front by Raina - whose contribution with the ball has been of more potency than his batting.
He laboured for a 29-ball duck when he came to wield the bat late in the day and was stumped by Prior as Swann grabbed the second of his three wickets, having had Tendulkar caught by Anderson and then having Sharma caught by Alastair Cook.
Following Bell's downfall, Ravi Bopara batted fluently for an unbeaten 44 and Prior was unbeaten on 18 when the rain forced England's hand although the performance of their bowlers that followed intimates that they had already accumulated runs enough to put India under the sort of pressure they have failed to cope with throughout the series - which they trail 3-0.
© Cricket World 2011