Match report: Ind vs Eng – 2nd Test, Day 2
Mumbai, Nov 24: Captain Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen took England to 178 for two at stumps on the second day of the second Test between India and England. The visitors were trailing by 149 runs in the first innings with eight wickets in hand at the end of Day 2 of the second Test match. Cook was unbeaten on 87 with Pietersen not out on 62 when play was called off at the Wankhede Stadium.
After troubling the English batsmen in Ahmedabad, Pragyan Ojha continued to be the thorn in England’s side and claimed the two wickets that fell today.
Earlier, the Cheteshwar Pujara run machine that had haunted the England bowlers in the series so far was stopped for 135 in the first session, while the England spinners - Monty Panesar with a fiver and Swann a four-for - spun a web around the Indian line-up.
Before lunch the Indian innings was wrapped up after adding 61 runs to their overnight total. After the England bowlers toppled India’s top order, the lower-order batsmen ably aided Pujara to stage a fight back and put up a respectable total on the scoreboard. Trapped lbw by Panesar, Ashwin who had played a crucial 114-ball knock to supplement Pujara’s monumental effort, was dismissed for 68. His 111-run partnership with the No.3 bat for the seventh wicket helped the hosts come back into the match. The lower-order bat was the left-arm spinner’s fifth scalp in the match, while Graeme Swann claimed the next three. The England off-spinner claimed Harbhajan Singh as his 200th Test wicket and followed up with the wickets Pujara and Zaheer Khan.
Wearing the national cap after a gap of over a year, Harbhajan Singh playing in his 99th Test match was dropped on one by Jonathan Trott at first slip denying Panesar his sixth wicket. Harbhajan, who has in the past displayed the ability to wield the willow, contributed 21 useful runs before being sent back. Swann’s next claim was the prized wicket of Pujara who had denied the visitors the opportunity to bowl India out yesterday. Stepping out, the youngster beaten by flight was stumped by Matt Prior who was quick to flick the bails off. After batting for more than a day his 350-ball marathon effort was brought to a halt by the off-spinner. The last wicket partnership between Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha then lasted for 11 runs before Swann claimed Khan to polish off the tail.
India then bowled four overs before lunch was called. Alastair Cook and Nick Compton added seven runs before the morning session ended.
Post lunch Ojha struck twice to give India important breakthroughs. He ended England’s opening stand for 66. Taking the edge off Compton’s bat the ball went straight to first slip where Virender Sehwag took a low catch. Playing in his second Test, the England opener made 29 before returning to the dressing room. In his next over he sent back Trott for naught. A flatter delivery from the left-arm spinner struck the England No.3’s pads in front of the stumps leaving no doubt for a leg-before decision. However, at the other end the England captain continued to graft runs. Nearing the half-century mark, the England captain took his side to 77 for two at the end of the second session.
Despite a few half chances runs came freely for the visitors in the last session. Scoring at a quick pace, Pietersen who did not have a good outing in the first Test struck his fifty of 63 balls with eight boundaries. The England captain too batted with ease and was inching towards his century when play ended.
At the end of Day 2: India 1st innings 327 all out in 115.1 overs (C Pujara 135, R Ashwin 68, M Panesar 5/129, G Swann 4/70); England 1st innings 178/2 in 65 overs (A Cook 87*, K Pietersen 62*, PP Ojha 2/65)
At the end of Day 1: India 1st innings 266/6 in 90 overs (C Pujara 114*, R Ashwin 60*, M Panesar 4/91)