England chasing third Test win at Eden Gardens with India struggling
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: December 9, 2012 12:31am
England stand on the verge of taking a 2-1 lead in their Test series with India after dominating another day of action in the third Test in Kolkata.
An early fightback from India lasted just one session as England's bowlers ripped through their batting line-up, leaving them in danger of losing the Test with a day to spare at one stage at 197-9 and still 10 runs away from making England bat again.
Ravi Ashwin's brilliant 83 not out forced the game into a final day though, with India closing on 239-9 but with their lead just 30 runs it will still be a final day victory for England unless a miracle happens.
England's seamers did most of the damage with the recalled Steve Finn taking 3-37 and James Anderson 2-38 to leave Alasatair Cook's men on the brink of victory - with the only minor setback being their failure to kill off the game on the fourth day.
MS Dhoni's side has shown signs of life at the start of the day by finishing England's innings quickly and making a bright start to their response at 86-0, but by tea they had crumbled to 145-6 and still 62 runs behind.
Virender Sehwag was bowled by Graeme Swann with the very first ball of the session, and that began a hefty Indian collapse of six wickets lost for just 36 runs to land them in big trouble at Eden Gardens.
Cheteshwar Pujara was run out by an Ian Bell direct hit for eight, and Gautam Gambhir followed soon after for 40 as he was caught behind off Finn while Swann found Sachin Tendulkar's edge and Jonathan Trott held the catch after earlier spilling a chance from Sehwag.
Anderson came steaming in to clean bowl Yuvraj Singh for 11 before then removing captain Dhoni for a duck when he was caught by his opposite number Alastair Cook.
With the score now on 122-6 India still trailed England's first innings total by 85 runs and suddenly had to dig in just to make the tourists bat again.
Virat Kohli and Ashwin managed to stem the bleeding and make it to tea unscathed, but again the break did the trick for England as Kohli edged Finn to Prior in the second over after the restart to expose the tail.
Finn struck again in his next over as Zaheer Khan was trapped lbw for a duck and the game looked over with India at 159-8, but Ishant Sharma and Ashwin held up the victory parade with a stubborn ninth-wicket stand.
Once that was ended by Monty Panesar the only matter left to decide was whether England would need to bat again - which they were as Ashwin made a deserved half-century and then survived the rest of the day to frustrate England's victory celebrations.
England's overnight pair Matt Prior and Graeme Swann could add only a single between them to their existing seventh-wicket stand of 56, as England lost their first two wickets of the day in the space of seven balls.
Prior had driven the first for a single, only for Swann to then immediately become Pragyan Ojha's fourth victim - edging another attempted drive to slip.
Then Prior himself went to cut Zaheer Khan at the other end, and edged behind.
Steven Finn and James Anderson managed a boundary each, but the introduction of Ashwin for Ojha (4-142) brought two wickets in two balls to conclude the innings.
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