Pietersen's ton lifts England spirits

Published: Sunday, December 21, 2008, 15:11 [IST]
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Ton-up KP bails England out of trouble

Mohali: Kevin Pietersen (106) and Andrew Flintoff (36) guided England to 211/4 at tea after early blows on Day 3 of the second Test against India in Mohali. Pietersen played a captain"s knock to avoid what could well have been another embarrassing slump for England.

At the end of the extended second session, England were 211/4, trailing India by 242 runs. Pietersen hit 14 fours and a six in the England fightback. The lone six that Pietersen hit was a stunning switch hit over mid-wicket off Harbhajan Singh.

It was a dream start for India as they dismissed two England batsmen in first two overs of the innings. Zaheer Khan trapped Strauss - England's double centurion in Chennai - with a straight ball, while Ishant Sharma bowled Ian Bell in the first ball of his first over. Cook (50) and Pietersen had put up a hundred run stand after the early dismissals.Collingwood, who had come to replace Cook at the crease, could not last long either. He was sent back to the pavilion by Amit Mishra who had him caught behind by MS Dhoni for 11.

However, after the loss of four wickets, captain Kevin joined hands with the experienced Flintoff to put up a half century partnership for the fifth wicket. The partnership came at a very good run rate owing to some big hits by both the Englishmen including a perfect switch hit by the England captain. The duo also took the team"s total past the 150 run mark.


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