Friday 10 August 2007 

Prior Pardoned For Spill By England Coach

England coach Peter Moores refused to blame wicketkeeper Matt Prior for dropping Sachin Tendulkar on the first day of the third and final test against India at the Oval on Thursday.

India, 1-0 up in the series, closed on 316 for four with master batsman Tendulkar unbeaten on 48 having been given a reprieve on 20 off the bowling of paceman Ryan Sidebottom.

"It's frustrating when you drop a chance," Moores told reporters. "Matt is one of the hardest workers in the team and he would have loved to have held on to that chance, especially as it was Tendulkar.

"Matt's working hard on his game. We've all got areas to work on and he is working hard in what is a tough environment."

Moores, a former wicketkeeper, said it had been a tough day for his side but was certain England could still win the match.

"There are four days to go and we need to get a couple of early wickets to put them under pressure," he said. "We are going to have to bowl and field well."

India's total was dominated by an innings of 91 by opener Dinesh Karthik, who eventually fell when he edged a wide ball from Sidebottom to Prior.

"I was definitely disappointed the way I got out," said Karthik, who has made six half-centuries in as many tests.

"We have got off to a very good start. We are happy with the way we batted today."

© Reuters 2007.
By Richard Sydenham