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Eng leads by 247 runs
Chennai, Dec 13 (Agencies):
Published on 13 Dec. 2008 10:29 PM IST
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Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood joined hands to bail England out of trouble after the Indian bowlers had nailed three top order English batsmen. The duo took the England total past the 150 run mark and in the process also extended their lead to 247 in the second innings. Strauss and Collingwood went on to compile crafty half centuries. Earlier, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Yuvraj Singh had struck in quick succession to put England on the backfoot after they had gained a lead of 75 runs in the first innings. Yuvraj Singh had caught England captain Kevin Pietersen plumb in front of the wickets off the first ball he bowled in the second innings. KP went back for 1. Before that, Ishant Sharma had provided India with the much needed early breakthrough that the hosts needed to bounce back into the game. Alastair Cook edged one from Sharma into the hands of wicketkeeper Dhoni and the Indian captain made no mistake. He departed after scoring 9 runs off 30 deliveries. Ian Bell who had come in to replace Cook could not handle the India bowling for too long either. Amit Mishra had him caught at short leg by Gautam Gambhir after the batsman had scored just 7 runs. Earlier, India were wrapped up for 241 in their first innings with MS Dhoni being the top scorer of the innings with a half century and Harbhajan Singh giving him ample support with a gritty 40. Tendulkar also contributed 37 runs. Amit Mishra was the last wicket to fall off the fourth ball after lunch when Freddie Flintoff castled the tail ender for 12 runs. Flintoff and Monty Panesar shared three wickets apiece while debutant Swann finished with two important wickets. Anderson and Harmison also shared two wickets. Dhoni’s captain’s knock had come to an end when Kevin Pietersen took a sitter off Panesar at long off. Dhoni had scored 53 important runs to reduce England’s lead to two digits. MS was Panesar’s third victim of the match. Prior to that, Andrew Flintoff had caught Zaheer Khan plumb in front of the wickets soon after he had come to replace Harbhajan Singh. Bhajji had perished to Monty Panesar after adding 40 crucial runs to the Indian total. He was caught at short leg by Ian Bell. Harbhajan fell soon after India had crossed the 200 run mark. The Turbanator had also put up a crucial 75 run partnership with captain MS Dhoni. India had resumed Day 3 of the Chennai Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium at 155 runs for the loss of six wickets with MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh at the crease.

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