Pietersen gives England lead on Day 3

Published: Sunday, June 19, 2011, 8:03 [IST]
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Pietersen gives England lead on Day 3

Southampton, June 19: Bowling out Sri Lanka for a first innings total of 184 as Chris Tremlett finished with 6/48, England moved into a strong position at stumps on Day 3 of the third Test. The hosts, led by Kevin Pietersen who made 85, were leading by 11 runs with 6 wickets in hand. Again rain intervened several times during play, allowing only a little over 50 overs to be bowled.

Just into the third over of the day, England pacer Stuart Broad hammered the final nail into the Lankan coffin by having Welegedara caught at cover for 7 off 23 balls. Lanka had been able to add just 7 runs to their overnight score of 177/9 with Dilhara Fernando stranded on a fighting 39 not out.

No sooner had England begun launching their reply than the visitors struck the first blow. Welegedara induced English captain Andrew Strauss into a drive which he ended up edging to first slip. The batsman was on his way for 1 and England were 4/1 in 2.2 overs. Five overs later, Lankan paceman Lakmal had an in-form Jonathan Trott caught behind for 4 off 17 balls and the hosts were 14/2 in 7 overs.

But surviving opener Alastair Cook and new batsman Kevin Pietersen counter-attacked with a few fours as England moved onto 54/2 in 16 overs. The umpires called for lunch as the rains came. After the break, just two-and-a half overs could be bowled before another downpour stalled play. A couple more overs later, rain interrupted play yet again with England at 69/2 in 20.3 overs.

When the wetnes subsided and the players returned to the field, Pietersen clobbered Perera for 2 fours in the 22nd over as the score ticked onto 78/2. Then in the 24th over, the same batsman went after Welegedara, knocking two boundaries of him as well.Cook took a four and then a single off Dilhara Fernando in the 27th over as England moved past 100/2.

Sri Lanka finally got a breakthrough when in the 31st over, Fernando had Cook caught at gully for 55 off 102 balls. Then, the new at the crease, settled in with a four in the same over. Singles were interspersed with the occasional boundary as England climbed past 150/3 in the 39th over.

The hosts had swung around the momentum and reached 191/3 when Thisara Perera had Pietersen caught behind for 85 off 115 balls. England ended the day at 195/4 in 48 overs, with Bell batting on 39 and Nightwatchman James Anderson on 0.

Oneindia Cricket

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