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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sports

England solid in reply

Skipper Alastair Cook continued to torment India with yet another gritty batting display while Kevin Pietersen returned to form with an unbeaten half-century to give England a slight advantage in the second Test here Saturday.

After dismissing India for 327 in the first innings, England moved to a comfortable 178 for two in 65 overs before the stumps were drawn on the second day, with the visitors trailing by 149 runs.

At close, the left-handed Cook, who had scored a big century in the first Test, was unbeaten on 87. The more aggressive Pietersen was batting on 62 after a stay of 127 minutes during which he faced 85 balls and hit nine fours.

Cook batted for 251 minutes and faced 209 balls, striking a six and ten fours in the process.

The third wicket duo has so far put on 110 runs in 186 balls.

With three more days left in the game, a result is on the cards on a track that is aiding the spin bowlers.

England, though, looked to have a slight advantage with a settled and experienced pair at the wicket and some more batting to follow.

On a wicket where the spin duo of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann ran through the star-studded India batting line-up in which Cheteshwar Pujara (135) and Ravichandra Ashwin (68) stood out, the trio of home team spinners looked largely clueless against the determined Cook and Pietersen.

Cook again showed monumental patience to lead his side's reply.

Pietersen, who looked in a hurry in the opening game, adopted a slightly different approach.

In the morning, England finally dismissed Pujara for the first time in three innings as India were all out 22 minutes before lunch.

Pujara was the ninth man out at 316, after batting for almost the entire day Friday and with just half an hour left for lunch on Saturday.

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