India’s chances of salvaging a consolation win in the final Test at The Oval diminished completely because of a massive 350-run partnership between centurions Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen. The pair powered England to 457 for 3 at stumps on Day 2.
Tale of the Morning Session :
It was a super start for India in the morning as Ishant Sharma struck in the first over itself when he had Alastair Cook (34 from 87 balls with 4 fours) pushing at a pitched up delivery away from his body to edge it to Sehwag at first slip. England lost its first wicket after a solid opening stand of 75. The other opener Andrew Strauss (40 from 106 balls with 5 fours) struggled to find runs and in the 38th over lost his patience when he chased a widish swinging half volley from Sreesanth to get caught by the keeper.
With England at 97 for 2 in 38 overs, India’s hoped of keeping England to a modest first innings total. However, there were two in-form batsmen in Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen to dislodge on what was a flat batting track. By Lunch, England seemed to have recovered at 126 for 2 in 51 overs.
Tale of the Afternoon Session :
It was a disastrous afternoon session for India as the bowling got smashed around all the parts by Pietersen and Bell. Leggie Amit Mishra was taken for plenty by both the batsmen. By Tea, England got into a safe zone at 296 for 2 in 89 overs with Bell notching up a century and Pietersen just the two runs away from his ton.
Tale of the Final Session :
The final session was also going England’s way and though both the batsmen got their centuries, they were just not giving away their wickets at any cost. India took the second new ball but that didn’t help them in breaking this partnership. It was only in the fag end of the day’s play that India got their next wicket when Kevin Pietersen was brilliantly caught and bowled to miss out on a double century after being deceived in the flight. Pietersen’s 19th century saw him making 175 in just 232 balls with 27 fours in a 350-run stand with Ian Bell.
England finished the second day at 457 for 3 in 123 overs with Ian Bell unbeaten on 181 (from 304 balls with 17 fours and 2 sixes) and having James Anderson (3* from 18 balls), the night watchman as company.