Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Strike; England Given Perfect Start at Trent Bridge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Strike; England Given Perfect Start at Trent Bridge

Article excerpt


MATTHEW HOGGARD was straight back into the groove at Trent Bridge today as England made a bright start to the second Test against India.

Hoggard bowled beautifully at Lord's a fortnight ago, finishing with match figures of seven for 120 as Nasser Hussain's men won the opening match of the npower series.

Here, once India had chosen to bat and England went in with a five-pronged pace attack, Hoggard needed only eight deliveries to strike again.

The Yorkshireman unsettled Wasim Jaffer during his first over. Then he bowled him, for a duck off an inside edge, as the opener moved tentatively forward with six runs on the board.

Hussain said yesterday it would be a good toss to lose - and he looked far from disappointed this morning when the coin came down in favour of Sourav Ganguly.

"I think we'd probably have bowled anyway," said the home captain.

The pitch was tinged with green and the clouds had rolled in by the time Hussain presented fast bowler Steve Harmison and opening batsman Robert Key with their first caps.

What England needed to know then was whether the ball would swing. Hoggard's third delivery gave them the answer they wanted, narrowly missing Jaffer's outside edge following a firm-footed attempt at a drive.

Dominic Cork had been included, at the expense of spinner Ashley Giles, to make the most of any atmospheric assistance and it was he, rather than Harmison or Andrew Flintoff, who shared the new ball.

Having been driven through the covers by Virender Sehwag for an early boundary, Cork couldn't stop himself from responding with a bouncer.

But, when he pitched the ball up again, Sehwag was first fortunate not to play on and was then fairly close to being pinned lbw.

Typically, though, Sehwag refused to be ruffled by those close shaves.

Joined by Rahul Dravid, he responded to India's early troubles with another cover-drive boundary against Cork. …

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