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Pietersen and Cook give England the edge
Kevin Pietersen wrote a new chapter in English cricket history alongside Alastair Cook as England seized the initiative on 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.
Pietersen's latest virtuoso carried England to 413 all out and a lead of 86, despite the best efforts of Pragyan Ojha (five for 143) in conditions so conducive to his left-arm spin and a late clatter of four wickets for seven runs in 13 balls.
Out on his own already with his fourth century in his first four Tests as captain after his two while standing in for Andrew Strauss in Bangladesh two-and-a-half years ago, Cook reached three figures with a cover-driven four off Harbhajan Singh. It was the opener's 11th four, to add to a six on Saturday, from 236 balls.
Five minutes after Cook completed his century, Pietersen did likewise, from only 127 balls, with an impudent reverse-sweep just wide of slip off Harbhajan for his 15th four.
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 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 over; and Monty Panesar was last out slog-sweeping straight to deep midwicket.