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Cricket | International

KP leads England on slow day

Kevin Pietersen top-scored for England with 73 as the visitors reached 199 for five at stumps after England opted to bat in the fourth and final test against India in Nagpur on Thursday.

The usually flamboyant batsman played an uncharacteristically subdued innings, facing 188 balls, which included ten fours.

His wicket was the only one to fall in the final session, and came as a surprise, when he lazily chipped Ravindra Jadeja to midwicket and Pragyan Ojha got down low to take it with both hands.

Debutant Joe Root (31 not out) and Matt Prior (34 not out) played out the remainder of the day. Scoring was difficult and the hosts bowled particularly well, especially Jadeja, who finished the day with 2-34.

Jonathan Trott lost concentration in the early afternoon when he left alone an arm-ball from India's debutant Jadeja to be bowled for 44.

Soon after, Ian Bell fell cheaply for one, popping Piyush Chawla straight into the hands of short cover.

With a pitch misbehaving from as early as the third over, England had a shaky start as their openers fell within 13 runs of each other to reduce the visitors to 16 for two.

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Nick Compton was undone by the variable bounce, edging India's only quick bowler in this match, Ishant Sharma (2-32), to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wickets for three.

Alastair Cook faced 28 balls for his single run, before falling victim of one of the poorest umpiring decisions of the series when umpire Kumar Dharmasena adjudged him LBW to a Sharma delivery that pitched outside off and also hit him outside the line.

The pitch, playing low and slow, forced the batsmen to concentrate and England can ill afford to keep losing wickets to poor judgment in the days to come.

INDIA: G Gambhir, V Sehwag, CA Pujara, SR Tendulkar, V Kohli, RA Jadeja, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), R Ashwin, PP Chawla, I Sharma, PP Ojha

ENGLAND: AN Cook (capt), NRD Compton, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, IR Bell, JE Root, MJ Prior (wk), TT Bresnan, GP Swann, JM Anderson, MS Panesar


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