Vaughan's freak dismissal sours England's promising start

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The Independent Online

Middle-order batsman Michael Vaughan's freak dismissal soured England's promising start on the opening day of the third and final cricket test against India in the southern city of Bangalore.

Vaughan grabbed the ball to stop it from rolling on to the stumps after failing in his attempted sweep shot against off–spinner Sarandeep Singh and became only the seventh batsman in 125 years of test cricket to be given out for handling the ball.

Vaughan's dismissal for 64, when in command of the situation, led to England's slide 255 for six at the draw of stumps.

Off–spinner Sarandeep Singh, included at the expense of medium–pacer Tinu Yohannan, claimed two quick wickets after Vaughan's departure to revive Indian fortunes on an overcast day that required floodlighting throughout three sessions of play.

This is the first instance of floodlights being used to improve the conditions for an entire day in a test match since the International Cricket Council permitted their use.

Despite the lights, play was interrupted for 25 minutes in the evening session due to poor visibility and was stopped four overs short of the daily quota of 90.

Vaughan and Mark Ramprakash steadied England's ship with a 113–run partnership after three jolts. Their defiant stand thwarted India until Vaughan's moment of madness.

Vaughan's stroke–filled 181–minute knock contained eight boundaries from 138 deliveries.

Andrew Flintoff followed Vaughan back to the pavilion for a duck in the same over as Sarandeep Singh got into the wicket–scalping act. He also accounted for Ramprakash for 58, having him caught by lone slip Rahul Dravid, to finish with two wickets for 45 runs.

Ramprakash struck five fours 0ff 133 balls during his watchful 165–minute innings.

England's promising start – despite losing opener Marcus Trescothick cheaply – was upset by the dismissals of Mark Butcher and skipper Nasser Hussain on either side of the lunch break.

Hussain, playing with authority, pulled Srinath square for a six after opening his account with a single during his sparkling 64–ball knock of 43.

He struck five more boundaries before nudging a widish delivery from paceman Javagal Srinath to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta.

Vice–captain Trescothick edged a rising outswinger from Srinath to Vangipurappu Laxman at second slip after scoring eight runs and Butcher ran himself out for 27 after surviving two confident leg before appeals.

Butcher drove off–spinner Harbhajan Singh to Rahul Dravid at mid–off and set off for a single that simply was not there. Dravid's accurate throw to wicketkeeper Dasgupta beat his desperate attempt to regain the crease.

Butcher's 96–minute knock included four hits to the fence from 51 deliveries faced.

Excessive dew on the outfield delayed the start of the match by half and hour and compelled match referee Denis Lindsay of South Africa to announce a delayed start for all five days.

India, predicting a spin–friendly track, went into the match with just one seam bowler.

But the pitch did not seem to be of any assistance to ace leg–spinner Anil Kumble, who was denied any success in 22 overs and finished the day still one short of the 300–wicket mark.