Pietersen England return ended by 'pie-chucker' Yuvraj

Daily Echo: Kevin Pietersen Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen marked his much-anticipated return to England colours with a frenetic innings which came to an eerily appropriate end against India A at the Brabourne Stadium.

The former Hampshire batsman, playing for his adopted country for the first time since his summer of discontent and subsequent 'reintegration' for this tour, hit a six over long-off and three fours in a near run-a-ball innings of 23 - before falling to his old adversary Yuvraj Singh.

India A captain Suresh Raina was the man hit for six, and duly replaced himself with Yuvraj - a batting all-rounder, infamously dubbed a ``pie-chucker'' by Pietersen on England's last Test trip here four years ago.

Pietersen responded by trying to assert himself against a cricketer who has become one of his favoured Twitter sparring partners.

But slow left-armer Yuvraj, continuing his comeback in the world game after recovering from lung cancer, had the last laugh on Pietersen this time when he moved smartly to his left to complete a return catch.

Yuvraj was all smiles again soon afterwards when Ian Bell edged him to slip - but by tea on day two of three in reply to 369 all out, England were in reasonable health on 186 for four thanks mainly to half-centuries from captain Alastair Cook (67no) and Jonathan Trott (56).

Cook began his first tour as permanent Test captain with a painstaking 106-ball half-century, containing eight largely unmemorable but valuable boundaries.

He and Trott put on 95 together after England lost their first wicket with just two runs on the board when Nick Compton endured a false start to his prospective international career, with a third-ball duck.

Twenty-nine-year-old Compton, grandson of the great Denis, is being pencilled in by many as likely replacement for the retired Andrew Strauss as Cook's opening partner on this tour.

But he will first need a substantial innings or two under his belt before the opening Test in Ahmedabad on November 15 - and today, he got no such thing.

Compton left his first two deliveries from Ashok Dinda, the second notably close to off-stump, and was persuaded to push defensively forward at the third only to edge behind to Wriddhiman Saha.

Cook and Trott were then in no particular hurry as they sought to avoid any more early dramas, and attune themselves to requirements in their first innings for eight weeks.

Trott completed his 91-ball 50 with a cut for his ninth four from the seam bowling of Parvinder Awana in early afternoon.

Soon afterwards, though, he uncharacteristically lost concentration - going back rather than forward to a Raina off-break, to be bowled and set the stage for the Pietersen show.

James Anderson had earlier done his best to hasten that moment too, by giving England the perfect start when he had R Vinay Kumar lbw with an inswinger first ball to end the India A innings without addition.

England this morning confirmed that fast bowler Steven Finn will play no further part in this first tour match because of the thigh strain he suffered while bowling just four overs yesterday.

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