Ted Corbett

Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni play supporting roles

Tendulkar arrived when India was two for two

Sourav Ganguly and Tendulkar batted until lunch at 63 for three

CHELMSFORD: Sachin Tendulkar has come to England to lay down a lasting memorial trail. If you had any doubt about his intention to fill the summer with glorious images, the final concern was removed at the County Ground on Saturday when, accompanied by howls and screams and encouragement from his devout followers, he arrived with two batsmen out for two, flayed the early youthful England Lions and then settled down to make his 67th first-class century.

Tendulkar was 99 at tea but immediately after that he completed his hundred in 190 minutes, off 140 balls with 13 fours and a six as he led the chase for Lions’s 413 for eight declared. Another stand by Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni ruled out a follow-on and Tendulkar was out for 171 near the end. He had done everything we might expect of him; and believe me he is not finished yet.

Exquisite shots

Tendulkar did not find progress easy. The young Lions followed the animal world and, having smelt blood at three for 14 and four for 65, went in for the kill. He had to survive appeals, a half chance to Ravi Bopara at leg slip, and a better offering to Owais Shah at gully. He struggled on, first to fifty off 60 balls with memorable drives through mid-wicket, straight and out of reach of mid-on and then more sedately.

He arrived, looking in some disarray, after Wasim Jaffer had been given out lbw to Geoff Onions second ball and V.V.S. Laxman had been caught off an outswinger from his fifth. The signs of panic were clear. India was two for two and, to judge from the time it took Laxman to settle down at the crease there was trouble in the dressing room.

We are left to guess what went wrong. A change of batting order, a misunderstood word of guidance; who knows? Whatever, it left Laxman tying shoelaces, adjusting pads and looking flustered and seeming bewildered by Onions first two balls and out to the third. Sachin clipped the sixth ball of that second dramatic over through mid-wicket and the game returned to normal. But in the fifth over Dinesh Karthik was caught behind and, unwilling to go particularly as he had his back to the umpire when he was dismissed like an unwelcome guest at the wrong party.

100 for Broad

Sourav Ganguly and Tendulkar batted until lunch at 63 for three but Chris Tremlett caught and bowled Ganguly two runs later and, when young Adil Rashid bowled his leg breaks causing hesitation and uncertainty in equal measure India was not yet 120 still facing a follow-on at 264, no way to prepare for a Test.

Then Tendulkar hit Rashid for four, four and six to reach 80 and establish who was master and who the L-plate kid. Yuvraj presented Broad with his 100th first class wicket

If the Indians need hope after their collapse it can be found in the words of David Graveney, chairman of selectors.

Harmison must be extremely doubtful for the first Test, an operation on his hernia might have to be brought forward but that there would be a reassessment on Monday.


England Lions — 1st innings: A. Strauss b Khan 1, J. Denly st Dhoni b Powar 83, O. Shah c Khan b Sreesanth 11, I. Trott c Ganguly b Khan 46, R. Bopara c Karthik b Tendulkar 29, T. Ambrose c Dhoni b Khan 4, A. Rashid c & b Powar 0, T. Bresnan (not out) 126, S. Broad c Yuvraj b Sreesanth 50, C. Tremlett (not out) 32; Extras: (b-8, lb-2, nb-21) 31; Total: (for 8 wickets decl; 97 overs) 413.

Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-62, 3-142, 4-174, 5-184, 6-185, 7-225, 8-354.

India bowling: Zaheer 22-5-119-3, Sreesanth 21-0-76-2, Ganguly 6-2-16-0, Ishant 12-1-61-0, Powar 25-1-96-2, Tendulkar 9-0-24-1, Yuvraj 2-0-11-0.

Indians — 1st innings: D. Karthik c Ambrose b Broad 5, W. Jaffer lbw b Onions 1, V.V.S. Laxman c Ambrose b Onions 0, S. Tendulkar c Shah b Onions 171, S. Ganguly c & b Tremlett 14, Yuvraj c Strauss b Broad 59, M.S. Dhoni (batting) 44, R. Powar b Bopara 4, Zaheer (batting) 18; Extras (b-4, lb-4, w-2, nb-10): 20; Total (for seven wkts; 80 overs): 336.

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-2, 3-14, 4-65, 5-205, 6-304, 7-317.

England Lions bowling: Broad 16-2-54-2, Onions 17-3-69-3, Tremlett 13-4-40-1, Rashid 12-0-90-0, Bresnan 16-2-45-0, Bopara 6-1-29-1.

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