Eng declare at 474/8; KP cracks double ton
London: Kevin Pietersen provided the perfect icing on the cake cracking a double ton on a day dominated by England throughout.
England declared their innings for a mammoth 474 for 8 immediately after KP reached his double to set up Indian openers for a tough half hour play on Day 2.
Openers Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund played out the new ball without any hiccups to end the Day at 17/0.
During England innings, Pietersen was at his majestic best taking the attack to the bowlers after tea as wickets kept falling around him. He quickly switched on to the ODI mode plundering the last 50 runs of his innings at run a ball strike rate.
All through the day Praveen Kumar proved to be the only Indian bowler bowling with some intend as he racked up five England wickets as Pietersen coasted along smoothly towards his big score.
Praveen got rid of Matt Prior (71) who was looking to up the ante late in the day and then in the very next ball produced a peach of a delivery to trap Stuart Broad (0) in front of the wickets.
Matt Prior had joined in the England party alongside KP with an enterprising knock to rub salt on the injured Indian bowling attack. He carried on his task with ease and a healthy strike rate, pounding Harbhajan and Ishant.
Ishant Sharma who was expected to run in hard, in place of Zaheer Khan had an unimpressive day at work as the lanky right arm pacer struggled with his length throughout the day giving away too many freebies for the England batsmen to hit at.
Harbhajan Singh also failed to live up to his over 400 Test wickets statistics with an unimaginative spell of spin bowling. Bhajji seldom tossed the ball up as Pietersen and company were content hitting the tweaker behind square on a consistent basis.
Before tea, when it seemed all was going England`s way, Praveen Kumar came up with two Jaffa deliveries to dismiss Ian Bell (45) and Eion Morgan (0) in quick succession to put India back in the radar for a brief period.
Kumar was the only Indian bowler bowling with some venom as both Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh were seen struggling on the Day 2 Lord’s pitch.
Earlier, Pietersen had worked his way to a century at Lord’s silencing his critics in a grand manner. KP toiled hard facing 219 deliveries for his ton. He showed patience and flair in equal measure and along with Ian Bell put England on a solid position early on.
He and Bell put on a century partnership in quick time by the standards of Test, making India feel the absence of their primer strike bowler.
Both the batsmen were particularly severe on Harbhajan cutting and chopping the turbanator at will.
Right after lunch, if Mahendra Singh Dhoni bowling at Lord’s was nothing less than fascinating, he nearly had the wicket of Pietersen. It was a rather amusing sight of Rahul Dravid coming out with the wicket-keeping gloves post lunch and Dhoni opening the bowling, clearly trying to make up for Zaheer’s absence.
The first session honours on the second day of the first Test between India and England went to England.
After the wicket of Trott which was taken by Praveen Kumar, Pietersen and Bell made easy work of the Indian attack.
It was expected to be a hard day for India and Praveen Kumar tried his best to fill in the boots of Zaheer and bowled an impressive spell of swing bowling getting the prize wicket of Jonathan Trott leg before wicket early in the day.
Trott’s dismissal came in as a surprise as he was looking quite solid in the middle but a sharp in swinger from PK did Trott in.
Kumar’s persistent line and length with a hint of away movement did trouble Pietersen a bit as well early on.