Simon Jones completed a five-wicket haul as England A took a firm grip on their tour match against the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association here yesterday.
The Glamorgan paceman, making his long-awaited return to first-class cricket, captured two more wickets on the third day as the tourists claimed a first-innings lead of 35.
Jones dismissed Tamil Nadu's top-scorer, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, for 98 and also removed Ganapathi Vignesh to finish with figures of 5 for 57 as the hosts scored 333.
Jones's performance is hugely encouraging for the England management, who are hoping the 25-year-old will be fit to join the senior squad in the West Indies later this month.
England A go into the final day with a lead of 286 after making 251 for 6. The openers, Scott Newman (57) and Kadeer Ali (56), both hit half-centuries in a partnership of 125.
Matt Prior made 35 and the first-innings centurion, Kevin Pietersen, who retired hurt with a knee injury on Saturday, made 31 batting at number six.
Sivaramakrishnan Vidyut was the pick of the home side's attack with figures of 4 for 44.
(Second day of four)
Tamil Nadu Cricket Association won toss
ENGLAND A - First Innings 368 (K Pietersen 147, M J Prior 81)
TAMIL NADU CA - First Innings (Overnight: 272 for 6)
K Vasudevadas c Tredwell b Jones 98
C Ganapathy st Shafayat b Tredwell 8
P Mathew not out 18
G Vignesh c Khalid b Jones 12
R Jesuraj retd hurt 0
Extras (b21 lb10 w1 nb3) 35
Total (96.2 overs) 333
Fall: 1-58 2-110 3-116 4-117 5-246 6-264 7-275 8-319 9-333.
Bowling: Jones 24.2-5-57-5; Francis 24-3-86-1; Wagg 7-0-36-1; Tredwell 19-4-54-1; Khalid 19-2-57-0; Lumb 3-0-12-1.
ENGLAND A - Second Innings
S A Newman c Srikkanth b Ganesh Kumar 57
Kadeer Ali c Mathew b S Suresh 56
M J Lumb st Mathew b Vidyut 27
M J Prior c S Suresh b Vidyut 35
K P Pietersen c Ganesh Kumar b Vidyut 31
B M Shafayat c Viswanathan b Vidyut 27
G G Wagg not out 4
Extras (b1 lb1 w1 nb11) 14
Total (for 6, 67 overs) 251
Fall: 1-125 2-125 3-180 4-207 5-246 6-251.
To bat: *J C Tredwell, S A Khalid, S P Jones, S R G Francis.
Bowling: Ganapathy 12-0-49-0; Vignesh 12-2-37-0; Ganesh Kumar 19-4-71-1; S Suresh 7-2-16-1; Vidyut 11-2-44-4; Vasudevadas 6-0-32-0.
Umpires: S N Bandekar and M S Mahal.