Tendulkar holds firm after Broad double

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LONDON, England, July 23 – Sachin Tendulkar’s bid to score his 100th international century here on Saturday remained intact after England seamer Stuart Broad starred on the third day of the first Test at Lord’s.

India, at lunch, were 102 for two in reply to England’s first innings 474 for eight declared, a deficit of 372 and still needing a further 173 runs to avoid the follow-on.

Rahul Dravid was 15 not out and Tendulkar, who came to the crease having already scored a record 51 Test centuries and 48 in one-day internationals, unbeaten on 10.

Broad, the pick of an otherwise wayward England attack, was rewarded for a full length with the wickets of openers Gautam Gambhir (15) and Abhinav Mukund (49) during a spell of two for 25 in eight overs.

Mukund, playing in place of the injured Virender Sehwag, and fellow left-hander Gambhir had survived a tricky half hour late Friday after England captain Andrew Strauss declared.

There was a nasty moment early on Saturday for Mukund, in only his fourth Test, when he missed a hook off a Chris Tremlett bouncer and was hit on the side of the helmet.

He then nervously edged swing bowler James Anderson through gully.

But it was Broad who made the breakthrough when he bowled Gambhir between bat and pad with a full swinging delivery to leave India 63 for one.

Mukund though straight-drove Broad to move to within four of a fifty.

But one run shy of what would have been his second Test half century, the 21-year-old Mukund played on attempting an extravagant shot to end nearly two hours’ of game resistance.

Tendulkar, who made his Test debut before Mukund was born, walked out to a standing ovation from a capacity 28,500 crowd.

He had been rested from India’s recent tour of the West Indies and spent much of the intervening time practising at Lord’s, where his Test-best score is a meagre 37.

Tendulkar looked in a good touch Saturday with his only boundary so far, a backfoot punched cover-drive off Tremlett, a classic.

Kevin Pietersen’s superb 202 not out was the cornerstone of England’s total after they lost the toss.

India medium-pacer Praveen Kumar took a Test-best haul of five for 106 in the absence of strike bowler Zaheer Khan, off the field for most of the innings with a hamstring strain.

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