Pietersen doubles up at Lords

July 22, 2011

Kevin Pietersen made a breath-taking 203 to help England into a strong position on day two at Lords against India.

At stumps India had reached 17 without loss, after England had declared on 474-8 leaving the tourists a tricky half an hour to bat before the close.

Despite the absence of Zaheer Khan through a hamstring injury, this will rank as one of Pietersen’s best innings in Test cricket. There had been assistance to all bowlers throughout both days of the Test match.

Pietersen’s first hundred runs, was a watchful effort that took 216 balls to achieve. His second hundred was nothing short of an assault on the Indian bowler bringing it up in just 110 balls. Pietersen went passed 6,000 Test match runs in this innings, and has become the fourth fastest Englishman to reach this milestone

His innings included 21 fours and 1 huge six that gave Andrew Strauss the impetus he needed to make an early declaration. Unfortunately James Anderson and Chris Tremlett were slightly offline in the 6 overs before the close with the new ball.

With India’s spearhead Zaheer Khan off the field, Praveen Kumar stepped up to lead the attack, and by the end of the day found his name on the Lords honours board, as he recorded first innings figures of 5 for 106 off nearly 41 overs.

The comical moment of the day came late in the afternoon session when India’s captain and wicket-keeper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni removed his pads to have a bowl. And his decision to do this was nearly vindicated when he was adjudged to have Kevin Pietersen caught behind, only for it to be turned down on the referral system.

Matthew Prior must also take credit for the partnership he formed with Pietersen, as Prior played in his typically aggressive manor in scoring 71 from just 93 balls. Thankfully this time after his dismissal there was no broken glass heading in the direction of the members.

England are in a good position in this Test match thanks to the heroics of Pietersen, but will be well aware that taking twenty Indian wickets may prove a much more difficult assignment then that of the Sri Lanka. Saturday should be a full house at Lords with Tendulakar expected to bat, sitting on 99 international hundreds.

Chris Murtagh 22/07/11

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