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Pieterson Double Ton Puts England In Command Against India

Jul 23, 2011 3:48:49 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Kevin Pietersen struck a brilliant double century as England declared on 474-8 during the second day of the first Test with India at Lord’s.

Pietersen, who had not scored a Test hundred on home soil in almost three years, survived three referrals to make an unbeaten 202 as England opted for an aggressive declaration.

India struggled to make any significant inroads as they had to cope without injured strike bowler Zaheer Khan, with Praveen Kumar their only real threat as he took 5-106 to get his name on the honours board.

Matt Prior also contributed 71 runs in a sixth-wicket stand of 120 with Pietersen, while Ian Bell made 45 and Jonathan Trott who began the day unbeaten on 52, was dismissed for 70.

India opening pair Abhinav Mukund and Gautam Gambhir survived six nervous overs in the closing stages of the day and the tourists will resume on Saturday on 17-0.

England had started the day on 127-2 and added 33 more runs before Praveen beat the bat to trap Trott lbw on the back foot and end a partnership of 98 with Pietersen.

India installed a leg slip for Praveen and the decision seemed to have paid off when Pietersen turned round his pad to Rahul Dravid when one short of his half-century.

Dravid got down well but could not be certain of the catch and replays gave Pietersen the benefit of the doubt, with the batsman surviving to pass the 50 mark.

England reached 217-3 at lunch and were greeted to an unfamiliar sight afterwards as India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni removed his wicketkeeper’s gloves and bowled the first over of the new session.

Dhoni thought he had Pietersen caught behind by stand-in gloveman Dravid but after the decision was reviewed by England, replays showed the noise had come from bat against pad.

Pietersen reached his century with a glorious straight four off Ishant Sharma but Praveen finally got the breakthrough by having both Bell and Eoin Morgan caught behind by Dhoni in the space of four balls.

Matt Prior looked to inject some pace into the innings as he made 21 in 36 balls before tea to nudge the England total beyond 300.

The wicketkeeper hit five boundaries as he progressed to a 72-ball half-century, while Pietersen endured a third referral on 132 when video footage showed a botched reverse sweep did not come off the glove.

Praveen grabbed his fourth wicket as Prior was caught behind before he trapped Stuart Broad lbw first ball to complete his five-wicket haul, although Graeme Swann fended off the hat-trick delivery.

Swann hit three fours of his own before being bowled by Suresh Raina for 24 but Pietersen was to go on a rampage, taking just 25 balls to move from 150 to his double century before captain Andrew Strauss declared the innings closed.