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August 16, 2002
Command performances from Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag have put India into an unassailable position going into the final day of their tour match at Chelmsford. Harbhajan finished with seven for 83 as Essex were dismissed for 279 in their first innings, and by the close a century from Sehwag had extended India's lead to 468.
Harbhajan, who already had two wickets overnight, pulled in regular additions to his haul this morning. First the crucial scalp of Andy Flower, caught by Sourav Ganguly for 59, then Jon Dakin, caught behind for four, and another big wicket - Essex skipper Ronnie Irani - caught by Ratra for 20. Barry Hyam and James Middlebrook followed, and when Sehwag bowled Joe Grant for 30 to end the innings, the hosts had conceded a lead of 237.
Things briefly looked up for Essex when India's young wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel, promoted to open, was caught by Timothy Phillips off Mark Ilott for one, but after that it was all India. Sehwag joined Sanjay Bangar in a partnership of 209 for the second wicket, to which Bangar contributed only 69. Sehwag made 142 (156 balls, five sixes, 18 fours) before hitting a return catch to Ravinder Bopara.
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