Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

India Hang on Tendulkar out but It's Not Enough

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

India Hang on Tendulkar out but It's Not Enough

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LLOYD

MATTHEW HOGGARD lost the tightest of verdicts at Trent Bridge today as England struggled to break India's resistance.

Hoggard, the most-improved pace bowler in world cricket, launched a fiery post-lunch spell with a cracking delivery that defeated Rahul Dravid's attempted defensive push.

The Yorkshireman was convinced that the fourth ball of the afternoon session had brushed the outside edge of Dravid's bat on its way through to keeper Alec Stewart - and so were all England's close catchers.

Umpire Rudi Koertzen decided otherwise, however, and Dravid - 73 at the time - went on to complete a battling century that significantly improved India's chances of saving the second npower Test in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000.

England's hopes of securing an unassailable lead in the series as well as completing a fourth straight win this summer had burned especially bright when Sachin Tendulkar fell eight runs short of his own hundred.

But the joy that Michael Vaughan's success brought the home side began to wear off as Dravid and captain Sourav Ganguly compiled a three-figure stand.

With a possible 45 overs remaining, India had reached 309 for three, having cleared their first innings arrears of 260 and started to build a useful lead. Those with access to television technology believed that Hoggard's appeal against Dravid was fully justified. But if umpire Koertzen had missed the thinnest of snicks then it was his first mistake of the match and an entirely excusable one.

Dravid, too, deserved only praise and several England players joined in the applause when he reached his 11th Test century, after five hours at the crease, with the help of 14 boundaries.

He needed to fight especially hard while Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff were bowling their hearts out this afternoon.

Both batsmen had some nasty moments on a still docile pitch but they came through them and, as tea approached, there were signs of tiredness in England's attack.

Occasional spinner Vaughan had followed the innings of his life with the ball of his dreams to keep Nasser Hussain's team on the scent of victory. …

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