Saturday 20 December 2008 

England Hit Back After Gambhir And Dravid Show

India were bowled out for 453 on day two of the second and final Test against England in Mohali.

India lost four wickets in the afternoon session and five in the final session after centurions Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid shared a stand of 314 for the second wicket.

The pair came together when Virender Sehwag (0) was dismissed early on the opening day and Gambhir hit 179 and Dravid, who registered his first century since March, 136.

In the morning, it was a case of as-you-were for both bowlers and batsmen as Gambhir and Dravid offered England nothing with both men growing in confidence as their partnership passed 200, and then 250 shortly before lunch.

Dravid completed his 26th Test century while Gambhir passed 1000 runs in 2008 during the morning session.

England, led by three wickets from Graeme Swann, launched a fightback in the afternoon session with the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar (11) and VVS Laxman (0) after the off-spinner got rid of both Dravid and Gambhir.

Andrew Flintoff had Laxman trapped in front for a duck and the unbeaten batsmen at tea were Yuvraj Singh (12) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6).

The final session of the day belonged to England as the bowlers toiled away and India looked to add quick runs. Harbhajan Singh (24) and Amit Mishra (23) were positive but eventually it was England's talisman Flintoff who wrapped up the innings after Monty Panesar has dismissed both Yuvraj and Harbhajan to open his account for the tour.

Having bowled with hostility all day, he cleaned up the tail to finish with figures of three for 54. Good support came from the ever-improving Swann whose forty-five overs also brought him three wickets for 122.

England's reply was short lived as the light was offered and taken to end the day's play. The game is nicely poised with both teams in a position to make an effort to win the match.

India won the first Test by six wickets after a Sachin Tendulkar century enabled them to reach 387 in the fourth innings.

© Cricket World 2008

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