Broad’s morning as England scent victory
Lunch: Second Test, day four, Trent Bridge
Match score: India 8 for 1 (Mukund 2*, Laxman 0*, Dravid 6) and 288 (Dravid 117, Yuvraj Singh 62, Laxman 54, Broad 6 for 46); England 221 (Broad 64) and 544 (Bell 159, Bresnan 90, Prior 73, Morgan 70, Pietersen 63) Full scorecard
Session score: England 103-4, India 8-1 England win session
India, needing 478 to level the series, lost the key wicket of Rahul Dravid just before lunch as England began what they hope will be a surge to second Test victory and an unassailable 2-0 lead.
After England’s remarkable second innings had ended at 544, India saw Dravid perish to the irresistible Stuart Broad for six. At lunch India were 8 for 1 and this contest shows no signs of being anything other than ‘Broad’s Match’… give or take the odd contributions of brilliance from the likes of Ian Bell, of course!
Dravid, fresh from his magnificent first innings 117, was drawn into playing at a ball which angled in and then straightened off the pitch and nicked it to Matt Prior behind the stumps.
And it might have been worse for India as Abhinav Mukund was dropped at second slip by Bresnan – a sharp chance high to his right – from Jimmy Anderson’s first ball of the innings. Mukund, of course, fell to Anderson’s first ball of the first innings, so was fortunate to escape a most unhappy fate.
England batted on for an hour and a half this morning, scoring another 103 runs from 19.2 overs, with Tim Bresnan and Broad doing most of the plundering after a couple of early classy blows from Prior.
Trent Bridge was not quite full, but spectators were still filing in throughout another entertaining session of play and the atmosphere in the ground was excellent for the fourth day running. This match has been one long treat so far – and at lunch, even after Dravid’s early dismissal, there was speculation that there may yet be a surprise or two in store from India’s superlative batting line-up.
Certainly the Indian batting cannot be as poor as their bowling effort in England’s second innings, although Praveen Kumar kept going doggedly with his medium-pace swingers and was rewarded with the wickets of both Prior and Bresnan when both of them were eyeing up Test centuries.
Prior, having just hit Kumar to fine leg and gloriously through extra cover for fours to reach 73, was undone by a fine ball that moved away from him to find the edge, and Bresnan had moved on to a robust 90 when the bowler found a little extra bounce from the Pavilion End (on a spot which has given the seamers much encouragement throughout the game) to have the Yorkshireman caught in the gully off the shoulder of his bat.
Broad had been run out from the previous ball, beaten by a direct hit from the substitute fielder Wriddhiman Saha as he attempted a quick single towards extra cover, after biffing a 36-ball 44 that added greatly to the crowd’s continued enjoyment.
There were two sixes in Broad’s buccaneering knock, both picked up over mid-wicket off Suresh Raina’s exploratory off spin, and also five fours as he helped Bresnan to put on 82 for England’s eighth wicket in 13 overs.
Bresnan, who resumed on 47 in England’s overnight 441 for six, rattled along with 17 fours in all in his 118-ball effort. He is proving a more than adequate replacement for the injured Chris Tremlett in this game. His stand with Prior was worth 119 in just 120 balls, and he was at the heart of things as 97 runs came in an opening hour torrent.
England’s nine-hour second innings ended when Graeme Swann speared a drive straight to mid off, but that left india with an awkward five overs to negotiate before lunch – which suited England, and the jubilant Broad, just fine.