Kevin Pietersen wrote a new chapter in English cricket history alongside Alastair Cook as England closed in on a series-levelling victory after day three of the second Test against India.
Pietersen (186) and Cook (122) both moved level on 22 hundreds with three all-time greats in Wally Hammond, Geoff Boycott and Colin Cowdrey as England's most prolific Test centurions.
That helped to earn a lead of 86, and Monty Panesar (five for 61) then took his match haul to 10 wickets with the prize scalps of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for the second time in the match as India barely struggled back in front on a hapless 117 for seven.
When Cook finally departed, edging an off-break from Ravichandran Ashwin to slip, Pietersen jogged 30 yards down the wicket and past the stumps to lend his personal acknowledgment as the captain made his way off the pitch.
Jonny Bairstow then poked a catch to silly-point off Pragyan Ojha in the final over of the morning session. The young Yorkshireman walked straight off, apparently oblivious either to the fact Gautam Gambhir had completed the sharp catch via the bottom of his helmet grille - or that such impact should have meant dead ball.
Samit Patel provided manful support for Pietersen, watchful mostly on the back foot, until he pushed forward instead to Ojha and edged sharp turn and bounce to gully.
Pietersen was to fall short of a fourth Test double century, a trademark flat-bat shot at Ojha resulting in a tame edge behind.
Matt Prior was then run out after a mix-up over an aborted single; Stuart Broad propped a catch to silly-point; James Anderson went in the same Harbhajan Singh over; and Panesar was last out slog-sweeping straight to deep midwicket to leave England 417 all out.
The lead was perhaps not as significant as it should have been but it looked ample by stumps after Sehwag had been caught at gully, Cheteshwar Pujara and Yuvraj Singh at short-leg, Virat Kohli off a Graeme Swann full-toss at mid-off, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at slip and finally Ashwin at cover.
For good measure, in a near binary scorecard apart from opener Gambhir's unbeaten 53, Tendulkar went for just eight again, lbw to an arm ball this time, in what may well prove a forgettable final Test innings on his home ground.
- Sports & Recreation
- Kevin Pietersen
- Alastair Cook
- Pragyan Ojha
- Monty Panesar
- Sachin Tendulkar
- Virender Sehwag