Tendulkar stands firm against England

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

London - Sachin Tendulkar led a dogged resistance movement on the final day of the fourth Test at the Oval on Monday as India fought to avoid a series whitewash against England.
Tendulkar, still in search of an unprecedented 100th international hundred after an indifferent series for the greatest batsman of the modern era, had reached 72 at lunch in an India second innings total of 216 for three.
India, who need 75 to make England bat again with 68 overs remaining on the final day, did not lose a wicket in the opening session with nightwatchman Amit Mishra reaching a test best of 57.
Tendulkar received a life shortly before lunch when he was dropped at short-leg on 70 when Alastair Cook failed to hold a chance which hit him on the chest when an inside edge off Graeme Swann rebounded off the batsman's pad.
After play began on a warm, sunny morning Tendulkar, 35 not out overnight, late cut his second ball from James Anderson to the boundary. He deliberately upper cut the same bowler with the same result and reached his second half-century of the series from 74 balls with seven fours.
Tendulkar was troubled, as he has been all series, by the ball moving away late from the pace bowlers and was badly beaten twice by Stuart Broad.
However, the introduction of Ravi Bopara's modest medium pace was just the tonic the Indians needed. Tendulkar played an expansive cover drive to the boundary followed by a late cut for four which took him past his previous series best of 56.
Mishra, who scored a spirited 43 in India's first innings, again demonstrated a commitment and fighting spirit sometimes absent in some of his more renowned colleagues in this series.
He took fours in consecutive overs off Swann, England's potential match-winner on a final day pitch and then played the shot of the morning off Broad, whipping the pace bowler through mid-wicket off his legs to the boundary.
Swann switched to the Pavilion end and Mishra celebrated with a lofted drive to the boundary. He reached his second test half-century by gliding Tim Bresnan for two to third man and followed up with a cut to the boundary.


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