July 20: India after a bad bowling in the first two sessions recovered and gained evenly as they restricted England 268 for 4 at the close of Day-1 of the Lords Test. At the stumps on the opening day Kevin Pietersen on 34 and Ryan Sidebottm, yet to open his score, were on the crease.
Earlier after wining the toss, England skipper Michael Vaughan opted to bat first and did the best for a good start. Both the openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook batted aggressively and put the first 50 just in the 9 th over. Indian bowlers were struggling to get someone out until the golden arm of Ganguly brought the first breakthrough for India after locking Cook lbw for 36.
However, as Indian seamers couldn’t maintain a good line and length according to the plan of captain Dravid with a packed offside field, the team struggles to get the next wicket. It was also a bit unlucky for India as Dinesh Karthik dropped Strauss at the point when he was on 43 and eventually made his 10 th Test half-century.
Strauss and Vaughan continued their good from and added 142 runs for the second wicket. Though Indian pace men especially the experienced Zaheer Khan did show a great effort in bringing the score board down but it was the Leg Spinner Anil Kumble who registered the second wicket for India by sending Strauss (96) back to the pavilion when he was caught by Dravid at the first slip.
The day was disrupted three times due to bad light and soon after restart of the game, RP Singh and Kumble struck well and removed Vaughan and Paul Collingwood. RP Singh with an excellent out-swing delivery made Dhoni caught the in-form Vaughan behind the wicket.
Soon after Kumble with his tricky leggie entrapped Collingwood for lbw at a duck. For India Kumble got two and Ganguly, RP Singh obtained one wicket each.
It was a mixed result at the end though India has to perform better in the second day to restrict English batsmen at a moderate score which will be easier for Indian batsmen in the second innings.