Cook steadies visitors

MUMBAI – England’s batsmen had a good day today at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, replying strongly to India A’s 369 with captain Alastair Cook leading the way with 112. Jonathan Trott made 56 and Samit Patel, promoted to bat at No.6, gave Cook good support, finishing the day unbeaten on 82.

Patel has played in two Tests, both in Sri Lanka earlier this year, and his innings added weight to his case win a recall against India. He is likely to face competition from Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan, though Patel’s ability to provide support to Graeme Swann as the second spinner could give him the edge.

India A had done well on the opening day and their innings lasted just one delivery on the second, as R Vinay Kumar was trapped in front by James Anderson. England suffered an early blow in their response, with Nick Compton edging to the wicketkeeper off Ashok Dinda in the second over. Cook and Trott, though, built a steady stand before the part-time off-spin of Suresh Raina accounted for Trott, breaking a partnership of 95.

Pietersen falls to spin

A left-arm spinner, once again, brought about Kevin Pietersen’s downfall, as he was caught and bowled by Yuvraj Singh for a quick 23 that included three fours and a six. When Yuvraj dismissed Ian Bell for 5 in the 38th over, England were in a difficult situation at 133 for 4.

Cook continued accumulating runs and Patel gave him good support, the pair batting 49 overs till the close to add 153. England finished the day on 286 for 4, just 83 adrift. (Cricinfo)

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