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Monday, December 09, 2013

Root and Pietersen arrest England's slide to defeat: T2 D4

England 172 & 6/247 (90ov, Root 87/194b/9x4, Pietersen 53/99b/3x6 2x4) need 284 more runs to beat Australia 9/570dec & 3/132 dec; T2/5 D4/5 at Adelaide Oval.

After the  threat of rain prompted Michael Clarke to declare at Australia's overnight score leaving David Warner 83*,  England batted unevenly through the day but thanks to Joe Root  and Keviin Pietersen at least took the match into D5.

The rain didn't materialise but the grey skies persisted throughout the day while the temperature remained in the low 30s, not enough to deter another full house crowd - the fourth successive 30k+ attendance.

When Alistair Cook and Michael Carberry were both caught at fine leg unnecessarily 
 hooking the match, with England 2/20 looked to be heading for an early finish. But Root, supported by Pietersen, provided a couple of metaphorical rays of sunshine for England. The Yorkshireman showed his colleagues how to blunt the menace of the Australian attack on what was still a docile pitch while KP took the long handle to some wayward slow bowling from Nathan Lyon and Steve Smith. They added 111 for the third wicket - a small dent in a huge target but England's first century partnership of the series. 

Later, despite Ian Bell hitting a Smith full toss to mid on, Ben Stokes 28, Matt Prior 31* and Stuart Broad 22* also helped put a better face on England's situation. Nowhere near enough to win nor, in the absence of rain forecast for D5, to draw, but enough to salvage a small amount of pride. 

<a href="">Scorecard </a>
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