Anderson blasts back to form

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Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff has Yuvraj Singh caught behind the wicket © Getty Images

England seamer James Anderson collected four vital wickets as the tourists took a commanding 152-run lead over hosts India at stumps on day three of the third and final Test in humid Mumbai.

Anderson finished with 4-40 and fellow seamer Matthew Hoggard claimed 2-54, while Mahendra Dhoni and Rahul Dravid hit half-centuries for India as they were bowled out for 279.

However, by the close England had lost two early wickets to leave the match tantalisingly poised as they took stumps on 31 for two.

At the start of the day's play, with India resuming on 89 for three, Yuvraj Singh clipped seamer Hoggard for a leg-side two off the first ball of the session but did not last much longer.

Yuvraj (37) then flayed at a wide delivery from Andrew Flintoff and wicket-keeper Geraint Jones took a tumbling catch in front of first slip.


Geraint Jones celebrates catching Rahul Dravid

Flintoff then proceeded to pepper Dhoni with short balls and hit the batsman behind the ear, although the India 'keeper replied with a vicious hook to the boundary.

England were pushing for another wicket and seamer Anderson had two chances dropped in one over.

First Dhoni was put down by Monty Panesar at mid-off and substitute fielder Matt Prior then failed to hang on to a chance in the gully two balls later from Dravid.

Eventually, Anderson claimed the vital wicket of the home captain.

Dravid (52) had reached his 42nd Test fifty before he glanced a leg-side delivery and Jones took a spectacular diving catch.

It was Jones’ second catch of the day, and fourth of the innings, leaving India on 142 for five. Lunch was taken 11 runs later.

After the interval, veteran off-spinner Shaun Udal frustrated Irfan Pathan into a loose shot, with the all-rounder taking 86 balls to get to 26.

Pathan lofted a catch to Hoggard at deep mid-on after he and Dhoni had consolidated for the home side with a 44-run partnership.

Anderson then produced an inspired piece of fielding to dismiss the dangerous Dhoni.

The Lancashire seamer produced a direct hit at the bowler’s end as Dhoni (64) went for a sharp single, and after lengthy deliberations from the third umpire he was given out.

Anderson then returned to the attack to claim his third wicket just before India reached tea on 217 for seven.

Harbhajan Singh (2) flashed outside the off-stump and gave a catch to keeper Jones.

Sri Sreesanth and Anil Kumble decided to chance their arms after tea and attacked during a half-century partnership.

Sreesanth enjoyed his contest with Flintoff before Panesar broke the stand when he trapped Kumble lbw for 30, attempting to sweep, and Anderson then finished the innings by yorking Munaf Patel.

England had an hour to bat before the close of play and Andrew Strauss could not repeat his first-innings hundred heroics, as he edged a catch to keeper Dhoni from Pathan with the score on nine.

Dhoni then took his second catch to dismiss Ian Bell (eight) 12 runs later, as Sreesanth got a ball to move off the pitch, with England closing on 31.

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