Friday, August 19, 2011

England v India: The Fourth Test, Day 2

After day one was rained off, I'm going to have another crack at live duck blogging the day's play. The weather looks set fair. Will the Indian bowlers fight back? How many runs will England get? Welcome back to day two from my living room carpet. 
India looks slightly more interested this morning, and Ishant Sharma, who was the pick of a bad bunch yesterday, picks up the wicket of Cook off the 5th ball of the morning.
Cook nicks a delivery outside off to Sehwag at first slip. Dravid is off the field. 
England are 75-1 and Ian Bell is the next man in. India begin the day with a couple of maidens.
England bring an end to the consecutive maidens and finally get off the mark.
Strauss gets a single into the leg side and he goes to 39.
Having done all the hard work and been restricted to only 2 singles, Strauss chases at a wider, fuller delivery from Sreesanth. 
'Tis a silly shot and Strauss is caught behind by Dhoni. Rod Ducker checks for a no-ball, but Sreesanth is fine.
So Strauss heads off for 40 off 106 deliveries, soon to be feeling the wrath of Bob Willis. England are 97-2 and India are finally having a decent session, about two Tests too late.
KP gets off the mark with a controlled edge for four along the ground and down to third man.
The four brings up England's 100.
Mishra finally gets a bowl over Raina. KP greets his first ball with a boundary and then in the next over, comes down the pitch and hits one uppishly on the leg side.
But it evades the fielder Gambhir and Sreesanth takes chase...
And Sreesanth does so unsuccessfully. It's another boundary to KP. 
After it's obvious that KP is going across his stumps, Raina comes in at the leg slip or region. And off the last ball before lunch, KP clips it round the corner to him.
Raina is not sure whether he's caught it and doesn't claim the catch.

The umpires go upstairs to check. Ian Bell makes sure he doesn't do a Trent Bridge and stays in his crease...
And the decision is not out. There's not enough conclusive evidence that Raina took the catch and KP, like at Lord's with a similar "dismissal", survives. England reach 126-2 at lunch. India have finally shown some fight as they restricted England and took the wickets of Cook and Strauss. It'll be an interesting afternoon session. 
England's 150 comes up as Sreesanth strays onto Ian Bell's pads.

It goes to Tenduckar in the deep...
Who manages to misfield and cannot stop the boundary.
Ian Bell gets closer to his 50 as he exquisitely drives Sreesanth through the covers...
For a four.
He then does exactly the same thing with the next delivery.
Which takes him to his 50. He raises the bat to The Oval crowd.
KP gets very far across his stumps to Sharma, again, and brings up his 50...
With a single to the fielder, Tenduckar.
He salutes his "home" crowd.
The 200 comes up with another single on the leg side.
KP is getting outside the line to Sharma to negate the LBW threat. But he's easily manoeuvring him around the field and brings up England's 200. 
Ian Bell creeps towards three figures in singles, until he finally gets one through the field...
And to the boundary for four. 
Bell reaches his fourth century of the summer and second of the series. He is in sparkling touch in 2011. The duckling hath finally become a duck. 

The partnership between him and KP is worth 199.
England go into tea at 296-2. 
KP brings up the two hundred partnership and also his century off the first ball after the tea break. 
It goes for four. 
And KP celebrates his second hundred of the series. 

But with the very next delivery, KP skies one...
He thinks he's a goner, as Gambhir is the man underneath it.
But Gambhir does not take the catch and ends up smacking the back of his head on the Oval turf. KP survives.
KP and Bell's partnership continues to grow and KP soon reaches his 150 with a four off Mishra.
He has overtaken Ian Bell and his 150 comes up off 208 deliveries.
But Bell soon follows Pietersen to 150. Both must be eyeing double centuries.
Bell gets a single off Sharma and salutes the appreciative crowd.
Bell piles on the misery for Mishra as he hits him for one six...

And then another.

KP smashes Raina for a four, but with the next ball smacks it straight back to him...
And Raina takes a good catch diving to his left.
KP goes for 175 off 232 and it is a fantastic innings. The previous delivery he'd brought up the 350 partnership between him and Bell. England are 447-3.

And Eoin Morgan decides that he doesn't want to face the terrifying Raina and sends in Jimmy as a nightwatchman, meaning Swanny will bat at 11. England finish the day with no more casualties and close on 457-3.

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