England made to work hard in the field


CRICKET:England encountered more reminders of the perils of an India tour as they laboured for their wickets against Haryana.

En route on day two of four, they lost the services of Matt Prior and were indebted to their hosts at the Board of Control for Cricket in India for allowing Jonny Bairstow to deputise when England’s first-choice wicketkeeper succumbed to a stomach upset.

England could only manage just one wicket on the second afternoon as Haryana’s batsmen put the tourists’ 521 all out into context at the Sardar Patel Stadium B Ground.

Samit Patel in the morning session added England’s fifth half-century as runs continued to come relatively easy, before a late clatter of the last five wickets for 14 runs just before lunch-time break.

That dramatic statistic was of little significance, other than to ensure England’s back-up bowling attack at last had their turn to impress.

Instead, they came up against the exact same snag which had afflicted their opposite numbers, namely a flat pitch and some decent batting.

After Nitin Saini had been discomfited by Tim Bresnan’s attempt to find some life in the surface from short of a length, propping a catch to cover, Rahul Dewan and Sunny Singh batted serenely in an unbroken half-century stand to reach tea on 103 for one.

The closest England came was a chance given by Dewan on 13 to a diving Matt Prior down the leg-side in Stuart Meaker’s first over after replacing Graham Onions.

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