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Murali magic halts England

Pietersen scored his third consecutive century in England before a flurry of wickets on the second day of the second Test against Lanka.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 01:57 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Kevin Pietersen scored his third consecutive century in England on Friday before a flurry of wickets on the second day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston.

Pietersen struck 142, including a reverse sweep for six, before England lost five wickets for five runs to collapse to 295 all out at tea in reply to Sri Lanka's 141.

Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan finished with six for 86, his 52nd five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

Pietersen, who struck 158 in the first Test at Lord's to equal his previous highest Test score set against Australia in last year's Oval Test, appeared unaffected by the Edgbaston gloom in the morning session.

After the start had been delayed for 80 minutes due to overnight rain, England passed Sri Lanka's total in the 36th over when Pietersen drove Muralitharan's first delivery of the day through extra cover for four.

The aggressive right-hander then advanced down the wicket and drove the next ball over the bowler's head and Nuwan Kulasekera at long on misjudged the spin on the ball and allowed a boundary for what should have been a single.

Pietersen registered his sixth Test half-century with a sweep off Muralitharan that bisected deep backward square leg and fine leg. It had taken him just 53 deliveries. He continued the aggressive approach after lunch, reverse-sweeping Muralitharan for six over cover point from a full toss.

Muralitharan, clearly irritated, trapped Pietersen leg-before two deliveries later. Pietersen had faced just 157 balls in his fourth Test century and he plundered 20 boundaries and three sixes in total.

First Published: May 27, 2006 01:57 IST