Bell and Pietersen punish India

August 20, 2011

Ian Bell (181*) and Kevin Pietersen (175) added 350 runs for the third wicket yesterday at The Oval to further England’s dominance over India in this series.

The home side finished day two on 457/3, which is a commanding position on a dry Oval surface that will take spin as the match progresses.

The day had started in better fashion for the visitors, with two wickets falling in the first session. The fifth ball of the day saw Alastair Cook push loosely at Ishant Sharma and was caught well at first slip by Virender Sehwag. Cook was dismissed for 34.

Strauss then followed soon after, caught behind off the bowling of Sreesanth for 38, only adding two to his overnight score. It was the first time India had any control over England since the first day of the Trent Bridge Test match.

However, after lunch order was restored, as Bell and Pietersen filled their boots. Their partnership was something that the capacity crowd at The Oval will never forget. Bell was timing the ball to all parts of the ground, while Pietersen was slightly more brash in his approach. He was determined to be aggressive from the moment he came to the crease, and he even entertained the crowd with one of his ‘switch hits’ that went for a two bounce four off the bowling off Misra.

Pietersen was dismissed just before the close, caught and bowled by Reina, for a brilliant 175, and was given a standing ovation as he left the ground. Even the prime minister was there to witness this innings.

Bell, and night-watchman Jimmy Anderson will resume this morning with England looking to pile on the runs. Ian Bell will be hopeful of scoring his first double hundred for England today.

Chris Murtagh 20/08/2011

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