sport

Ton-up Dewan frustrates England

England endured more frustration in the field as Haryana centurion Rahul Dewan carried his bat to shut them out on day three of four.

Dewan (143no) gave just one chance, dropped by Alastair Cook at slip on 121, in the hosts' 334 all out at the Sarwar Patel Stadium B Ground in England's final warm-up clash.

His patience and skill, on the flattest of pitches, never wavered - and England showed signs of weariness in their toil, Nick Compton also flooring a straightforward but not costly chance and Matt Prior, back on duty after yesterday's stomach upset, short of his best behind the stumps and responsible for another.

Tim Bresnan again got more than most out of the surface, but even he could not shift accomplished opener Dewan as Haryana replied with substance to 521 all out.

Bresnan (three for 66) impressed as England's most likely wicket-taker yesterday, and got them under way again today when he had Sandeep Singh pushing tentatively forward and edging low to Cook at slip.

Cook was in the firing line three more times before lunch. But the ball evaded his grasp when Amit Mishra twice edged past slip and Dewan, on 87, and again off Jonathan Trott - a rare false shot in a compact and controlled innings.

Mishra was gone relatively soon anyway, turned round by Stuart Meaker and caught behind to give the Surrey seamer his first first-class wicket for England.

But Dewan remained to complete his sixth first-class hundred in just over five-and-a-half hours.

He did so with a cut for his 14th four - from the 236th ball he faced - earning the polite applause of the bowler, Monty Panesar, in acknowledgment.

Meaker (three for 74) doubled up, however, when he got through Jayant Yadav's defences and knocked over off-stump. He would have had a third wicket had Prior managed to hold a diving catch down the leg-side to see off Amit Vashisht for just four.

England took the second new ball, and gave it to Bresnan and Graham Onions, but could not get past Dewan or the tail before lunch.

In fact, it took them almost until tea to do so, and even then Dewan himself was unbeaten.

Compton put down Vashisht at point off Onions, a glaring miss but one which cost only five runs before Samit Patel got his man lbw pushing forward.

Dewan had his one escape shortly afterwards, off Meaker, during a ninth-wicket stand of 62 in which number number 10 Chanderpal Saini belied the fact he was playing in only his second first-class match at the age of 25 after a debut just last week - until Meaker had him lbw, and then Kevin Pietersen had last man Sanjay Budhwar caught at gully for nought.

After almost 115 overs in the field, England unsurprisingly chose not to enforce the follow-on.