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July 29, 2006
England 231 and 452 (Lyth 113, Nelson 104*) drew with India 426
Fighting centuries from Adam Lyth and Mark Nelson ensured England rescued the draw on the fourth and final day at Canterbury. England started the day in a precarious position, just 23 runs ahead with five wickets remaining. However, Lyth built on his overnight score and battled for a total of six hours in a patient innings of 113 from 324 balls.
England lost just three wickets all day, Steven Mullaney the first to fall but only after he had shared a stand of 78 with Lyth (264 for 6). Mullaney worked hard for his 31 over the course of 121 balls.
When Lyth finally fell, to Bodapati Sumanth, the result had already been assured (394 for 7). He and Nelson put on 130 for the seventh wicket just for good measure to take any thoughts of victory away from India. The only other wicket was that of Paul Dixey, who fell when England had pushed the score beyond 400.
After being rolled over 3-0 by India in the one-dayers - two of which were very comfortable victories indeed for the visitors - England will be able to take great heart from their fighting spirit which they showed today. They were led in their efforts by Lyth, who had demonstrated great promise in the ODI series, and confirmed his abilities once more today with a powerful hundred.
Nelson, too, did well but patience wasn't the name of his game; entertaining was. On his way to an undefeated 104 he cracked ten fours and four sixes. All in all this will do a hitherto frail England side the world of good ahead of the second Test which starts in Taunton on Tuesday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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