Related Link : India’s tour of England
After two days of a professional approach, the Indians faltered for the first time in this four-day match against Sussex. With rain forcing the players to stay indoor for more than four hours, just around 48 overs of play was possible which was dominated completely by the home side.
India had Sussex on the mat at the close of Day 2 with the homeside struggling at 146 for 5 in reply to their 388 for 7. But a stubborn maiden first class century the 23-year-old Wicket Keeper batsman – Andrew Hodd kept the Indian bowlers at bay. For Hodd, it was just his 12th first class match and wouldn’t have played had Matt Prior not been selected for the National side. The Indians were sloppy in the field today, in particular Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was untidy behind the stumps. Martin-Jenkins, the number seven batsman supported Hodd in frustrating the Indians for a long time. Eventually it was Anil Kumble providing the breakthrough which came after almost 36 overs! Martin-Jenkins made 42 batting out 106 deliveries in a partnership of 125!
Sussex declared its innings when the young Andrew Hodd had got his century and also when the team had hit the 300-run mark. Hodd remained unbeaten on 106 from 165 balls with 10 fours. For India, Anil Kumble was the most successful with 3 for 66 having bowled 22 overs. Among the three pacers, only Sreesanth looked to be bowling at his potential. All the three pacers – Sreesanth, RP Singh and Ranadeb Bose could take just a wicket each.
The Indians in their second innings made a dismal start with Wasim Jaffer bagging a second failure, this time around rapped up infront by an inswinger. Experienced new ball bowler Jason Lewry was the wicket taker and he went onto remove MS Dhoni as well in the 10 overs that were bowled in the second innings. Dhoni sent in at no.3 cracked two boundaries before falling to a false pull shot after making a run-a-ball 11. At stumps, India are 21 for 2 with Dinesh Karthik on 4 from 32 balls and Yuvraj Singh at 2 from 7. The Indians have taken their lead to 109 and might be looking to bat atleast two sessions on the final day before giving their bowlers one last crack at the Sussex batsmen.
Indians 1st Inngs 388 for 7 declared in 130.5 Overs (VVS Laxman 95 Gautam Gambhir 81 Dinesh Karthik 76 Rahul Dravid 57 retired hurt Yuvraj Singh 31, Saqlain Mushtaq 3/71 Rayner 2/34) & 2nd Inngs 21/2 in 10.0 Overs (Dhoni 11 Karthik 4* Jaffer 4 Yuvraj 2*, Jason Lewry 2/18) Vs Sussex 1st Inngs 300 for 6 declared in 85.1 Overs (Andrew Hodd 106 Michael Yardy 53 Robin Martin-Jenkins 42 Chris Nash 28 Rayner 19*, Kumble 3/66)