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November 23, 2005
Close England 3 for 0 and 154 (Brindle 37, Goswami 5-25) require another 308 runs to beat India 175 for 4 dec (Jain 35) and 289 (Raj 78, Jain 40, Chopra 65)
England ended the third day of the only Test at Delhi on 3 for 0, and require another 308 runs to win this match after India declared on 175 for 4. India will be looking towards the impressive Jhulan Goswami - who took 5 for 25 in the first innings - to deliver as they attempt their first Test win against England.
Charlotte Edwards and Laura Newton began England's run chase in cautious mode, facing four overs against the new ball. No doubt they are waiting for the final day to attempt any acceleration. Earlier in the day, Beth Morgan and Jane Smit saved the follow-on by putting on 50 for the ninth wicket, which was also the last after Katherine Brunt retired hurt with a broken hand.
Richard Bates, England's coach, told Cricinfo that England will look to capitalize on a good batting track and seize the initiative early on. "Our first plan will be to see off the new ball and then we will assess where we are at tea," he said. England only need to score at three an over to secure victory, and after a shocker of a day yesterday, Bates was feeling happier. "I'm a little bit better. Today wasn't about trying to get ten wickets, it was about trying to restrict them as much as possible and they gave us a very sporting declaration."
Though no batsman passed 50, vital contributions from Karu Jain (35), Anjum Chopra (31*) and Goswami (34*) saw India extend their lead. After Monica Sumra's early departure, Jain was joined by Mithali Raj, and the intent of the Indian captain was plain for all to see - to score fast. She wasted little time in taking advantage of a defensive field, and her drives through the off side were elegant. Edwards was the most testing of the bowlers, impressing with her variation and extracting decent turn with her swift leg-cutters. At 52 for 2 she had Jain caught and bowled going for a drive - Edwards smartly rolling her fingers over a slower one - and diving forward to hold a good catch. She could have had more success too - in her next over, Raj cut hard at a shorter delivery but the sharp chance was spilled at gully.
Raj (24) and Rumeli Dhar took the score to 94 for 2 at tea, but shortly thereafter England fought back to stymie India's progress, spinner Rosalie Birch dismissing both batsmen. Towards the end of the day Chopra and Goswami opened up with some lofty hits to the fence, and a dropped chance by Edwards, off her own bowling, signalled a tough afternoon session for England.
Earlier in the day England had resumed at 103 for 7, but immediately lost Birch, leg before, as Goswami snared her fifth victim of the innings. Thanks to Smit and Morgan's battling partnership, however, England were able to stretch their total to 154 and avoid batting again.
A couple of loud appeals apart, little pressure was applied on Smit and Morgan as the bowlers continuously dropped it short. It didn't help that the day three pitch was as lifeless as a bone in a museum case but, given Goswami's fine showing on day two, you would have expected the bowlers to come in with guns blazing.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.