Ashes 2013-14: England lose Kevin Pietersen before lunch on Day 4 of 1st Test; Australia near victory

Kevin Pietersen was dismissed for 26 in England’s second innings © Getty Images

By Shrikant Shankar

Nov 24, 2013

England are at 98 for three in their second innings at lunch on Day Four of the first Ashes 2013-14 Test in Brisbane at The Gabba. Kevin Pietersen (26) was the only wicket to fall in the morning session on Sunday. Australia need another seven wickets to go 1-0 up in the series, while England need an improbable 463 runs to win.

The day began with England’s score at 24 for two chasing a 561-run target. Peter Siddle began proceedings on Day Four. Pietersen got England off the mark on the day with a single behind square on the leg side. Siddle had actually found the inside edge of Pietersen’s bat, but there was no bat pad.

Pietersen then took a big stride forward to a full delivery from Ryan Harris and hit the ball for four past mid-off. Alastair Cook got his first run of the day with a single towards long-leg.

Nathan Lyon came in from round the wicket and bowled a full delivery outside off-stump to Pietersen, who cleared his left foot and drove through covers for a four. Lyon then bowled a short and wide delivery to Cook, who cut it in front of square on the off side for a two.

Mitchell Johnson began with a few deliveries down the leg side and that allowed Cook to get a couple of twos. England reduced the deficit below 500-run mark as well.

Cook employed the cut shot against off-spinner Lyon and got a few runs. Johnson then struck to dismiss Pietersen. He bowled a back of a length delivery and Pietersen helped it along its way with an unconvincing hook and substitute fielder Chris Sabburg took a good catch at fine-leg. Ian Bell was the next batsman and he was welcomed a barrage of quick short deliveries from Johnson.

Leg-spinner Steven Smith was brought into the attack and he bowled one fuller and with a bit of flight to Bell, who reached to the pitch of the delivery and drove past short extra-cover to get a four.

Shane Watson was also brought into the attack. Watson bowled a full delivery and Cook nearly gifted a return catch back to the bowler. Smith continued and Bell hit a couple of fours down the ground.

Lunch was taken as England were at 98 for three still needing an improbable 463 runs to win. Cook was batting on 40 and Bell was on 20.

Brief scores:

Australia 295 (David Warner 49, Brad Haddin 94, Mitchell Johnson 64; Stuart Broad 6 for 81) and 401 for 7 decl. (David Warner 124, Michael Clarke 113; Chris Tremlett 3 for 69) lead England 136 (Michael Carberry 40, Stuart Broad 32; Mitchell Johnson 4 for 61, Ryan Harris 3 for 28) and 98 for 3 (Alastair Cook 40*; Mitchell Johnson 2 for 16) by 463 runs.

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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)