Yuvi, Raina bowl England off track


Yuvraj Singh and India A captain Suresh Raina shared three wickets between them as England floundered against the part-time spinners before recovering to reach 186 for four at tea in the three-day warm-up game on Wednesday.

Yuvraj, who cracked a superb 59 with seven fours and four sixes when India A batted on Tuesday, accounted for the wickets of Kevin Pietersen (23) and Ian Bell (5) with his slow left arm bowling, while off-spinner Raina dismissed Jonathan Trott for 56.

England captain Alastair Cook stood resolutely at one end with an unbeaten 67 studded with nine fours, after a valuable stay of 230 minutes during which he faced 149 balls at the Brabourne Stadium. Samit Patel (31) was the other unbeaten batsman at the tea.

England are still trailing India, which scored 369 all out in their first innings, by 183 runs.

The tourists added 107 runs in the second session to their lunch score of 79 for 1, losing three wickets.

Trott was the first to go after lunch. He jumped quickly from lunch time score of 48 to 56 with a couple of fours off Parwinder Awana. But soon after reaching his half-century in 91 balls with his ninth boundary hit, the one-drop batsman departed.

Going back to Raina, he was bowled as the spun in a bit to disturb his stumps.

The dismissal of Trott, after his 95-run stand with skipper Cook in 166 minutes and off 106 balls for the second wicket, brought in Pietersen, who is playing a first class innings for the first time in nearly three months.

Pietersen immediately started attacking the bowling. The lanky batsman, expected to be among the lynchpins of the England batting in the upcoming four-Test series, jumped out to Raina’s off break and slammed it straight over to the sightscreen for a six to herald his arrival.

Pietersen went on the back foot to cover—drive Raina handsomely for a four but then got lucky when a sharp inside edge off his bat could not be latched on by Ajinkya Rahane at short leg in the same over.

Raina brought on Yuvraj, who has dismissed Pietersen with his innocuous looking bowling a few times in the past in international cricket that had prompted the England batsman to call the Indian World Cup hero a “pie-chucker”. And the move paid rich dividend almost immediately.

Pietersen, keen to set his dominance on the Indian dasher, paid the penalty as his drive was hit directly to Yuvraj who gleefully accepted the catch to reduce England to 125 for 3.

Cook was batting quite comfortably, if not aggressively at the other end, but England lost another Test certainty Ian Bell cheaply when he edged a ball from Yuvraj that spun a bit and the low catch was taken by Raina by diving in front.

England, cruising along at 97 for one, suddenly found themselves in a bit of a bother at 133 for four with the dismissal of Bell. Bell faced just six balls.

Cook was joined by Patel, and the duo added 53 for the unfinished fifth wicket before tea. Patel was also reprieved by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha off Awana when on 29.

Before lunch, England made a slow and steady start after terminating the India A innings with the first ball at the overnight score when James Anderson trapped unbeaten Vinay Kumar (25) in front without any addition to the team total.

England lost uncapped opener Nick Compton cheaply when he was caught behind off Ashok Dinda, who got the batsman to lunge forward to take the edge of the bat for Bengal teammate Saha to pouch the catch, in the second over.

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