India Close Needing 378 More To Win After Prior Rescues England

India Close Needing 378 More To Win After Prior Rescues England
India Close Needing 378 More To Win After Prior Rescues England
©Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic

England 474-8 dec. & 269-6 dec. (Prior 103no)
India 286 (Dravid 103no, Broad 4-37) & 80-1
First Test, Lord's, day four
| | Day Two | Day Three

Matthew Prior rescued England with an outstanding century as they recovered from 62 for five to set India 458 to win the first Test at Lord's.

The fourth day began with wickets tumbling before Prior (103 not out) and Stuart Broad (74 not out) steered England to 269 for six declared.

India, set a mammoth target and a bigger one than has ever been achieved in the game, closed on 80 for one with their batting line-up in some disorder with both Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar absent.

Gambhir was struck by the ball while fielding at short leg and has had x-rays on his arm while Tendulkar was absent for much of the day due to illness - all this adding to the unavailability of Zaheer Khan with a hamstring problem.

It didn't look like it would cause India too much inconvenience when Ishant Sharma ripped out the heart of England's batting with a fine spell early on.

He had Alastair Cook (1), Kevin Pietersen (1) and Ian Bell (0) all caught behind as he found the right line and length and he then had Eoin Morgan well caught by a diving Gambhir at midwicket for 19 as England rebuilt.

Andrew Strauss fell for 32 when he was trapped in front by Harbhajan Singh before the home side rallied with Prior and Broad putting on 162 for the unbroken seventh wicket.

Prior's rich vein of form continued as he played some dashing strokes en route to his sixth Test century while Broad played aggressively once he had got himself in, taking on the short ball and carving the ball through the covers as India turned to Dhoni and Suresh Raina with the ball and England helped themselves before declaring.

Broad, enjoying a wonderful match, then had Abhinav Mukund (12) bowled via an inside edge, just as he had in the first innings but there was no further joy for the bowlers as first-innings centurion Rahul Dravid, unbeaten on 34, and VVS Laxman, on 32, played both solidly and fluently to leave India needing a hypothetical further 378 to win on the final day.

India won the toss and inserted England on the opening day, which was ended early due to rain, only to see Kevin Pietersen's unbeaten double-century help England into a strong position despite Kumar's five-wicket haul on Day Two.

Dravid was unbeaten on 103 as India were then bowled out for 286 on Day Three with Broad leading England's charge with four wickets.

© Cricket World 2011