More misery for India as England eye whitewash


Hapless India slumped to 103 for five at stumps in their first innings on the third day of the fourth Test at The Oval on Saturday after a sublime double century from Ian Bell had fired England to 591 for 6 declared. Rahul Dravid, on 57, and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on five, were the not out batsmen following another poor performance by India which was as miserable as the London weather where the second session was lost to rain.
Bell’s first Test double century had put England, already 3-0 up in the series, in a dominant position earlier in the day. The Warwickshire batsman, 181 not out overnight, overhauled his previous best of 199, to make 235 before he was leg before to Suresh Raina. After a delay of over three hours for rain England declared before their bowlers got to work to leave India struggling with off-spinner Graeme Swann claiming three wickets. Virender Sehwag’s miserable run continued as he was trapped leg before by James Anderson in the first over of India’s reply for just eight, VVS Laxman was caught behind off Stuart Broad for two, Sachin Tendulkar went for 23 and Raina was stumped for 0 having faced 29 balls.
Tendulkar’s wait for his 100th international century continues after he gloved an attempted sweep off Swann and was caught by Anderson at slip. He has received a standing ovation every time he has come out to bat but has passed 50 just once and it was left to Dravid, who has two centuries already in this series, to hold England up.
But the day belonged to England yet again with Bell notching his 16th Test century and Ravi Bopara making 44 not out as he bids to cement his place in the side.