England bowlers clock vital time
If it was momentum and match practice that England wanted to take into the first Test starting on Thursday, then the last day of the practice game against Haryana was a mixed bag for the visitors. Jonathan Trott retired after completing a century but key batsmen including Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior and Ian Bell failed to impress. However, the bowlers ensured that there were some positives from the final day as they had Haryana on the mat at 133 for six by the end of play, almost forcing a result from the 42 overs that were possible.
England, who began on an overnight score of 118 for no loss in the second innings, lost opener Nick Compton (79), who edged Sachin Rana to the wicketkeeper. Trott soon made way for the other batsmen on completion of his ton, but Matt Prior, who was promoted from his usual spot lower down the order, was unlucky to be run out when bowler Jayant Yadav deflected an Ian Bell straight drive on to the stumps at the bowlers end. Prior made just 2.
The English slide began after lunch, when Ian Bell (48) was caught at gully and two balls later, Samit Patel (0) departed nicking behind. Four overs later, Tim Bresnan (14) was caught by Amit Mishra while trying to uppishly drive Sanjay Budhwar, who picked up three wickets. Kevin Pietersen was out for a duck trying to force spinner Jayant Yadav as England declared at 254 for six. The day however got better for England from there. Tim Bresnan made a strong case for selection for the first Test as he picked up two middle order wickets, while all the other bowlers — Stuart Meaker, Samit Patel, Monty Panesar and Graham Onions — also picked up a wicket each.