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England on top despite Dravid ton Published: 23 July 2011

Rahul Dravid made a superb century but England's bowlers, led by a resurgent Stuart Broad, dismissed India to assume a strong position on day three.

Dravid completed his first ton at Lord's 15 years on from making 95 on his Test debut at the Home of Cricket as India were bowled out for 296. England closed on 5-0, a lead of 193.

His unbeaten 103 was his 33rd ton in Test cricket and he can have played few better in the intervening years, despite being dropped on 42 by Graeme Swann at second slip.

Broad was excellent, picking up the first three wickets, including that of Sachin Tendulkar for 34, denying the veteran a fairytale 100th international ton and first at Lord's.

He finished with figures of 4-37, his best at Lord's, while there were three for Chris Tremlett and two for James Anderson.

Broad finds form

India started the day on 17-0 with England hoping for early wickets and with Abhinav Mukund, just 21, opening the batting with Gautim Gambhir.

England's opening bowlers, James Anderson and Chris Tremlett, found the line and length which had eluded them last night to crank up the pressure on the young Mukund.

However, he soon settled into his stride, attacking the bowlers in a style reminiscent of the injured Virender Sehwag, for whom he's standing in, as the openers put on 63.

Broad though, under pressure for his place from Tim Bresnan prior to this match, got England in the hunt.

The Nottinghamshire seamer removed Gambhir with a full in swinger which rearranged the left hander's stumps.

Makund's punchy innings came to an end shortly afterwards when, on 49, he chased a full wide delivery and dragged it onto his stumps.

Little Master arrives

That brought Sachin Tendulkar out to bat - the crowd at Lord's on their feet to welcome the 'Little Master' to the crease. The consumate Test batsman began his pursuit of his much talked about 100th international century with India 77-2.

Alongside Dravid the pair settled, lasted through a tricky period to lunch and then set about the England bowlers with gusto, captivating the Lord's crowd for a 40 minute period of spellbinding, graceful batting.

Both batsmen found the fence with crisp shots, on back foot and front, and it was Dravid who looked the better of the two, playing the ball late on a sluggish surface.

Once again though, Strauss called for Broad and once again the 25-year-old obliged.

Tendulkar was tempted into a drive to a full delivery which was edged to Graeme Swann at second slip - his county teammate grasping onto a sharp, low chance.

England were bouncing but somehow surrendered the momentum as first Strauss put down a dolly of a catch off VVS Laxman, then Swann dropped a tougher one off Dravid - both from the same Broad over.

Tremlett restored England's authority though dismissing Laxman in strange fashion when the batsman's flick off his pads flew in the air straight to Jonathan Trott at fine leg, who pouched a simple catch.

When Swann, who held up an end well throughout the day, trapped Raina LBW for a second ball duck in the following over India were reeling at 183-5.

Follow-on averted

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni set out to occupy the crease for as long as possible and steer India past the 200 deficit to avoid the follow on.

England continued to press and toil but were up against an in-form Dravid in the mood to occupy the crease.

Trott and Pietersen both turned their arm over as England whiled away the time until the new ball was taken as soon as it was offered.

Tremlett then removed Dhoni, well caught at second slip by Swann, and Harbhajan in the same over as the extra bounce and movement worked to his advantage.

Praveen Kumar played an entertaining cameo before Broad returned to bounce him out and Anderson did the honours of dismissing Zahher Khan (who batted with a runner) and Ishant Sharma.

Dravid though deservedly soaked up the applause as he departed unbeaten.


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