Skipper Pietersen leads from the front

Published: Friday, August 8, 2008, 18:00 [IST]
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London: Kevin Pietersen made a solid start in his first innings as captain to lead his team towards a first innings lead on the second day of the fourth and final Test against South Africa at the Oval on Friday.

England were 116 for three at lunch in reply to South Africa's total of 194. Pietersen was unbeaten on 42. Makhaya Ntini took both wickets to fall during a rain-shortened morning and had figures of three for 43.

Ian Bell (24) was out to the fourth ball of the day when he edged Ntini low to South African captain Graeme Smith at first slip.

Only two runs had been added to the overnight total of 49 for one.

Played started half an hour late because of rain and the weather was heavily overcast. But the South African bowlers were unable to get the movement through the air and off the pitch which their English counterparts did when the tourists were bowled out for 194 on the first day.

While Alastair Cook batted cautiously, Pietersen played with typical fluency as the pair added 60 for the third wicket, the highest partnership of the match so far.

Cook made 39 before flashing at a wide delivery from Ntini to be caught behind shortly before lunch.

Paul Collingwood opened his score with a risky single to midwicket and would have been well out of his ground had Neil McKenzie's throw been on target.


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