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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 May 2007, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Pietersen ton sets up England bid
FIRST NPOWER TEST, LORD'S:
England 553-5 dec & 284-8 v West Indies 437 & 7-0 (stumps, day four)

By Paresh Soni

Kevin Pietersen celebrates his century with Paul Collingwood
Pietersen accelerated after a slow start to help set a stiff target

England will try to take 10 wickets on the final day and beat West Indies in the first Test after Kevin Pietersen's 109 helped set a target of 401.

The tourists closed on 7-0 but face a stern test on a Lord's pitch which Monty Panesar will enjoy bowling on.

Panesar took a Test-best 6-129 to bowl the Windies out for 437 at Lord's.

Pietersen accelerated from a slow start to add 102 with Paul Collingwood after Alastair Cook laid the foundations with 65 as England declared on 284-8.

The stage is now set for an enthralling finish, in which the hosts are likely to rely on only three frontline bowlers, with Matthew Hoggard struggling with a thigh injury.

He was absent as the Windies tail-enders frustrated England following the early departure of Shiv Chanderpaul (74), who was lbw playing no shot to Panesar's fourth ball of the morning.

Daren Powell played some handsome strokes, including two remarkable cover drives off Steve Harmison, in making his highest Test score of 36 not out.

606: DEBATE
BF

He was well supported by Jerome Taylor, who made an entertaining 21, and by the time Panesar trapped Corey Collymore lbw - his fifth such victim of the innings - England's lead was only 116 and much smaller than they would have been expecting.

But there was no real urgency from them when they came out to bat, with stand-in skipper Andrew Strauss and Cook given little to pounce on during a disciplined display from the visiting bowlers.

Strauss tried to up the pace after lunch by cracking Powell through the covers twice but Colllymore found the edge of his bat and Runako Morton took a fine low catch at second slip.

Owais Shah was under pressure after a scratchy knock first time around and the nerves were betrayed by his firm grip of the bat which resulted in a Collymore delivery ballooning off his glove to keeper Denesh Ramdin.

Cook made an uncertain start, edging twice beyond the slips in one over from Powell, but took advantage when opportunities to cut, drive and pull were presented.

Monty Panesar was again England's likeliest source of a wicket
Panesar was again England's likeliest source of a wicket

He drove Taylor delightfully through mid-on before reaching his fifty off 72 balls and, surprisingly, he was more aggressive than Pietersen, who reined in his attacking instincts to the extent that only one boundary came in 18 overs at one point.

After Cook edged the wily Collymore behind, England's best batsman stepped on the gas.

He thrashed four boundaries in one over from the paceman, going past 50 in the process, and got caught up in a war of words with the normally mild-mannered Chris Gayle at slip.

Pietersen was winning all the battles, in the mind and on the pitch, and the run rate began to soar as he dominated his partnership with Collingwood.

Ramdin gave Pietersen a reprieve on 94 when he feathered Gayle behind and the number four eased to his seventh Test century off 121 balls - the second fifty coming in only 38.

The Windies fielding deteriorated as it had done in England's first innings and Collingwood was dropped on 29 by Powell off Bravo at long-leg, where Morton held on to remove the Durham all-rounder.

Neither of those mistakes proved too costly and in the inevitable late frenzy Collingwood, Pietersen, Ian Bell and Liam Plunkett all give their wickets away.

Gayle had a consolation victory when Pietersen's reverse-sweep ended with a straightforward lbw decision and he bizarrely shook the batsman's hand as he made his way to the pavilion.

In the final mayhem Prior thrashed Bravo through cover and hooked successive sixes before being caught at short third-man miscuing another big hit.

Several overs were wasted in a bid to get to the figure of 400 and there were few problems for Gayle and Daren Ganga - particularly against the wild Harmison - in the two overs they had to face.

England will hope things are different on Monday.

SEE ALSO
Windies hit back against England
19 May 07 |  England
Cook hundred puts England on top
17 May 07 |  England


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