Advantage England as India struggle

Panesar takes second five-wicket haul of the match in Mumbai

Gulf News

Mumbai: Monty Panesar’s career-second 10-wicket haul had India reeling at 117 for seven at the close of play on the third day of the second Test against England at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.

At the close of play, Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh were not out on 53 and 1, respectively.

After bowling England out for 413 after they resumed the day at 178-2, India lost seven wickets in the last session of the day, finishing with a lead of 31 runs with three wickets in hand and two days of play left.

Earlier in the day, skipper Alastair Cook and comeback man Kevin Pietersen struck their respective 22nd hundreds to get England past India’s first innings score of 327.

Cook struck 13 boundaries and a six to make a solid 122, while Pietersen batted with his usual fluidity to score a splendid 186 at a strike rate of 79.82. Pietersen’s innings included 17 boundaries and one six.

At 382-5, England looked to extend the lead. However, the Indian spinners struck when needed and the visitors lost the last five wickets in a span of 31 runs.

The England lower order could not hold out against the Indian spin trio of Pragyan Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, who took all but one of the wickets to fall — the other being Matt Prior’s run out.

Ojha took the fifth five-wicket haul of his career as he ended with figures of 5-143. Ashwin and Harbhajan ran through the tail-enders, taking two wickets each.

Coming out to bat in their second innings, India looked to stave off the challenge of the English spinners on a turning track.

But Panesar struck for England as he picked up opener Virender Sehwag, who is playing his 100th Test, for nine with the score on 30. Thereon, India consistently kept losing wickets, with none of the batsmen, apart from Gambhir and Ashwin, reaching double figures.

Cheteshwar Pujara (6), Sachin Tendulkar (8), Virat Kohli (7), Yuvraj (8) and Dhoni (6) all perished without making an impact as the Indian batting order collapsed.

Gambhir tried to play the anchor’s innings, scoring his first Test half-century since January.

Panesar ended the day with 5-61 to add to his first innings tally of 5-129, while Swann had figures of 2-39.

SPORT PICTURE OF THE DAY: Monday, October 24

England's players celebrate after beating Bangladesh during the final day's play of the first Test cricket match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium in Chittagong on October 24, 2016. AFP