Sunday 21 December 2008 

Pietersen Century Keeps England In The Game

Pietersen Century Keeps England In The Game
Pietersen Century Keeps England In The Game
© REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe (INDIA) Picture Supplied by Action Ima
Pietersen Century Keeps England In The Game
England Struggle In Mohali
© REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe (INDIA) Picture Supplied by Action Images
England captain Kevin Pietersen's 15th Test century enabled his side to recover from a desperate position of one for two to close the third day of the second final Test against India in Mohali on 282 for six.

Pietersen, who also passed 4,000 Test runs during the afternoon session, hit 144 while Andrew Flintoff was dismissed with the last ball of the day for 63 to leave nightwatchman James Anderson unbeaten on one.

Replying to India's 453 all out, and after a 90 minute delay due to fog, England lost a wicket to the third ball of the day when Andrew Strauss, who hit two centuries in the first match in Chennai, was trapped in front by Zaheer Khan for a duck.

Less than an over later, England were reeling on one for two when Ian Bell (1) was bowled by Ishant Sharma via an inside edge.

However, Alastair Cook (50) and Pietersen looked composed as they took their side to the interval with no further loss of wickets.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni introduced Yuvraj Singh as early as the third over but Pietersen survived despite almost inside-edging onto his stumps and narrowly missing being caught at cover.

Cook fell shortly after reaching his half-century when he was trapped in front by a searing Zaheer Khan yorker and when Paul Collingwood was caught behind off of Amit Mishra for 11, England were 131 for four and in some trouble.

Pietersen began to wrest back the initiative as he hit 17 fours and a six, ably supported by Flintoff, who chipped in with six fours and a six as the pair guided England past the follow-on target in a 149-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Pietersen faced 201 balls and was eventually dismissed when Harbhajan Singh had him trapped in front while Flintoff was well caught at short leg by Gautam Gambhir off of Amit Mishra.

Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid hit centuries in India's innings after the first Test in Chennai ended in a six-wicket victory for the hosts.

© Cricket World 2008