Cricket: England draw Test series opener with India

Monday, July 23, 2007

England (298 & 282) and India (201 & 282-9) have drawn the first Test cricket match of the Indian tour of England at Lord's, London, England.

Play was suspended due to bad light and rain just before tea on the final day with England needing just one wicket, and India on 282-9, 98 runs short of the 380 needed for victory. Rain continued to wash out the evening session and the game was forced to end as a draw.

Before play started on the first day, England won the toss and captain Michael Vaughan chose to bat first.

England took advantage of the inexperienced Indian bowling attack to quickly score 40 runs off the first five overs, the only wicket of the morning session coming when Alastair Cook (36) fell lbw to Sourav Ganguly. Andrew Strauss, sharing a partnership of 142 with Vaughan, just missed out on a century when he was caught at first slip on 96. India took two wickets late on day one, with Vaughan out for 79 and Paul Collingwood recording his first Test duck. England finished day one on 268-4 after stoppages for bad light.

Heavy rain delayed the start of the second day, and play got underway in the early afternoon. England soon collapsed to 298 all out, adding just 30 runs to the overnight total. In one incident, Kevin Pietersen started to walk off believing he had edged to Dhoni before replays showed otherwise, only to be caught making the same mistake minutes later. Sreesanth was the pick of the Indian bowlers, taking 3-67.

In response, England took two quick wickets to reduce India to 27-2 in their first innings, with Dinesh Karthik and Rahul Dravid falling cheaply. James Anderson took the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (37), while Test debutant Chris Tremlett caught and bowled Wasim Jaffer (58) to record his first Test wicket, leaving India on 145-4 at the close of day two.

England's bowlers reduced India to 201 all out by lunch on day three, with James Anderson taking 5-42 and Ryan Sidebottom 4-65, to leave England with a first innings lead of 97. England's second innings was disrupted by rain in the afternoon, and Zaheer Kahn took two wickets in quick succession. At the close of play England were 77-2, leading by 174 runs.

A century from Kevin Pietersen (134) pushed England's lead past 350 runs on day four despite 5-59 from R P Singh and two wickets in two balls from Zaheer Khan. England were all out for 282 runs, a lead of 379, and Chris Tremlett went for a Pair in his first Test match. India, with a second innings target of 380, lost key batsmen Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar cheaply. However they reached 137-3 by the end of the fourth day with help from a Dinesh Karthik half century.

India faltered at the start of the final day, losing Sourav Ganguly (40) and Dinesh Karthik (60). However V V S Laxman and Mahendra Dhoni (76 not out) shared a partnership of 86 to frustrate England, and gloomy conditions stopped play just before tea with England needing just one wicket for victory.

1st Test: 19 July - 23 July, Lord's, London, England
England vs India
298 (91.2 overs)
Andrew Strauss 96 (186 balls)
S. Sreesanth 3-67 (22 overs)

201 (77.2 overs)
Wasim Jaffer 58 (156 balls)
James Anderson 5-42 (24.2 overs)
282 (78.3 overs)
Kevin Pietersen 134 (213 balls)
R P Singh 5-59 (16.3 overs)
282-9 (96.0 overs)
M S Dhoni 76 not out (159 balls)
Chris Tremlett 3-52 (21.0 overs)
Result: Match drawn

England: A J Strauss, A N Cook, M P Vaughan (capt), K P Pietersen, P D Collingwood, I R Bell, M J Prior (wkt), C T Tremlett, R J Sidebottom, M S Panesar, J M Anderson

India: W Jaffer, K D Karthik, R Dravid (capt), S R Tendulkar, S C Ganguly, V V S Laxman, M S Dhoni (wkt), A Kumble, Z Khan, R P Singh, S Sreesanth

Test debut: C T Tremlett (England)

Umpires: S A Bucknor (West Indies) and S J A Taufel (Australia)
TV umpire: I J Gould
Match referee: R S Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: N G C Cowley