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Fertang and Howe forged England's first innings lead with their partnership on the second morning, but an hour in - after being dropped by Masters off the same bowler - Phlegm had Fertang nick one to slip for 64. For a moment it looked like the fightback was on, Moody never really settling before losing his wicket to Mills, but Howe and Wood saw England safely to the lunch break on 185/4.
Though the lead progressed past 100, England were never quite allowed to get away, and England lost both set batsmen over the course of the afternoon session for scores in the 40s. Howe fell shortly after the new ball to Phlegm, while Wood became Craddock's third wicket as he was tempted out of his crease, frustrated by a tight spell. The visitors were 260/6 at tea.
Tymal Mills contributed a fiery spell after tea, getting Deen out with some short-pitched bowling for 7. His fielders were not quite as sharp, and Ardley was fortunate to remain after being dropped twice in the same over. Instead, he remained there with Goughy to bring up England's 300 after Tesnan was dismissed by Phlegm. Ardley was dismissed late in the day for a solid 56, becoming the ninth wicket that brought Force to the crease. Electing to have a confident swing at Craddock, Force blasted four boundaries in the dying light to push the lead past 200. When he was out for 26, it ended the innings on 366.
There remained only 3 overs before stumps to pick up a wicket, but Mork and Beegee survived.
Ashes win/loss ratio with Tim Bresnan in team: 2.00
Ashes win/loss ratio with Tim Bresnan not in team: 0.79
I suck at converting starts.
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Force conceding half our runs haha. Fair play with the 7fa though.
Poor knock from me
England clearly missing me. Need a South African to be any good.
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The home team's openers fought back on the third morning with a chanceless partnership of 87. While Beegee remained steady, Mork was the aggressor, slapping seven boundaries and raising his fifty in the final over of the session. Force responded with two maidens to Beegee after the break, and unable to score, the opening bat was lbw for 25 playing across the line. Mork, however, was able to continue happily, bringing up another fifty stand with Shah before the tea break. From the first two sessions the Invitationals had compiled 175/1.
The Norweigan's hundred came in the final session, along with Shah's fifty, and the lead began to look slim. As play drifted towards the final hour, Tesnan was able to get the breakthrough as Mork was dismissed by a Moody catch at slip. He'd made 113 from 256 balls, and given his team an avenue back into the match.
It was a chance that Shah and new batsman Teja took hold of as they regained the lead for the Invitationals with their fifty stand. Only two wickets had fallen all day, and the score progressed to 271.
Furball to Beegee, no run
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The **** took 106 more deliveries this innings, and only got three more runs!
Bad day for England though, even if we did keep it reasonably tight.
Shah's 88 was ended immediately by Force, who had the number 3's off stump in his first over of the day. But hopes of an England fightback were dashed by Teja, who notched the third fifty of the innings, and Dharan as the pair brought the score to an imposing 354/3 at the lunch break. England only had themselves to blame - Pickup dropping a chance to dismiss Dharan off Furball's bowling and Wood being responsible for a missed run out.
Force once again got the breakthrough, picking up Dharan for 56 and completing his 10-wicket match. With the score effectively 152/4 there was still time to restrict the hosts to a chaseable total, but further wickets just kept on being denied to them. Another half century stand followed, this time Jansen contributing, and at the close of the afternoon session the Invitational XI were 432/4, 211 runs ahead.
With the lead beginning to spiral out of control, Jake Howe was thrown the ball and was able to get the breakthrough. The medium pacer found some movement back in to the right handers, dismissing Teja lbw 5 runs short of his ton and finding Jansen's off stump for 37. From 470/6 England's pacers shared the third new ball and it was enough to ensure regular breakthroughs. Howe was involved again as he caught Phlegm off Force, and Deen chipped in with two as his pace proved too much for the tailenders. Daemon Dong was able to bring up his team's 500 with his enterprising 22*, but England had brought the match back into the balance by keeping the lead to under 300. They would need 298 to win.
England's openers made their way to stumps cautiously, and survived, closing the day's play on 21/0.
England's fielding team will be feeling those overs before the First Test
Umpire was fed up with you.
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