Pietersen's fine century fails to save England A

England A 228 India A 229-8 India A win by two wickets
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The Independent Online

England A put up the best fight of their tour so far but still lost by two wickets to India A, despite a century from their opener Kevin Pietersen in Bangalore yesterday.

The Nottinghamshire batsman made 131 to ensure England salvaged a worthwhile total of 228 all out from 46 overs in their one-day match.

But having lost to the same side on Monday, the tourists once again came off second best - with Test batsman Dinesh Mongia following up his century 24 hours earlier with 88 at the top of the order. Sridharan Sriram, who made 92 on Monday, added 50 as the Indians scrambled home with two wickets to spare.

Only the Warwickshire all-rounder Graham Wagg (29) and the Yorkshire batsman Michael Lumb (24) assisted Pietersen.

India's pace bowler Munaf Patel (3 for 42) removed the wicketkeeper-batsman, Matt Prior, at the top of the order and also snatched two late wickets to finish as the pick of the home attack.

England were captained again by the Kent all-rounder James Tredwell in the continued absence of Alex Gidman, who has a finger injury and has flown back to England.

The Glamorgan fast bowler Simon Jones was back for the tourists, seeking to prove his form and fitness to the Test selectors in time to join Michael Vaughan's team against the West Indies next month. However, it was the improving Lancashire pace bowler, Sajid Mahmood, who put England back in with a chance by taking 4 for 51, after Mongia had put his team on course for an easy win by taking them to 189 for 1.

A middle-order collapse followed - but in the end India A reached 229 for 8 with almost nine overs to spare.

* Nottinghamshire have signed the Australia batsman Damien Martyn for the 2004 season. The 32-year-old World Cup-winner will arrive at Trent Bridge as Notts' second overseas player, alongside his Test colleague Stuart MacGill, subject to clearance from the Australian Cricket Board. Martyn played for Yorkshire late last summer.

BANGALORE SCOREBOARD

England A won toss

ENGLAND A
M J Prior c Manhas b Patel 4
K P Pietersen c Yadav b Paul 131
M J Lumb c Ratra b Powar 24
E T Smith c Mongia b Nair 8
B M Shafayat run out 10
G R Napier run out 4
J C Tredwell run out 1
G G Wagg c Sriram b Powar 29
S I Mahmood b Patel 1
S R G Francis b Patel 4
S P Jones not out 3
Extras (lb7 w2) 9
Total (46 overs) 228

Fall: 1-19, 2-89, 3-114, 4-128, 5-149, 6-153, 7-209, 8-217, 9-217.

Bowling: Patel 9-1-42-3; Paul 4-0-37-1; Yadav 3-0-19-0; Powar 7-0-32-2; Mongia 6-0-28-0; Nair 7-0-37-1; Bahutule 10-1-26-0.

INDIA A
D Mongia st Prior b Pietersen 88
G Gambhir lbw b S R G Francis 37
S Sriram run out 50
M Manhas b Jones 4
J P Yadav lbw b Mahmood 7
S R Nair c Prior b Mahmood 7
A Ratra b Mahmood 0
S V Bahutule not out 10
R R Powar c Smith b Mahmood 0
S S Paul not out 1
Extras (b4 lb6 w9 nb6) 25
Total (for 8, 41.1 overs) 229

Fall: 1-84, 2-189, 3-189, 4-193, 5-212, 6-212, 7-226, 8-226.

Did not bat: M M Patel.

Bowling: Mahmood 9.1-0-51-4; Napier 7-1-51-0; Jones 10-0-45-1; S R G Francis 5-0-21-1; Wagg 3-1-17-0; Tredwell 5-1-29-0; Pietersen 2-0-5-1.

Umpires: A V Jayaprakash and I Sivaram.

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