Friday, 17 August 2012
Craig Kieswetter's unbeaten century was the cornerstone of an England Lions fightback against Australia A in the second unofficial Test in Edgbaston.
Australia had appeared set to take a stranglehold on the match when the Lions slumped to be 4-53 early on day three but Kieswetter scored 112 not out as the home team moved to 5-240 before bad light halted play with 21 overs remaining.
After declaring their first innings closed on 9-308, pacemen Mitchell Johnson, Jackson Bird and Nathan Coulter-Nile ensured Australia A made a fine start with the ball.
Coulter-Nile removed Varun Chopra and former England Test player Eoin Morgan while former Test quick Johnson dismissed Joe Root and Bird snared Samit Patel as the Lions threatened to collapse entirely.
But Patel's demise brought Kieswetter to the crease and England's current one-day and Twenty20 wicketkeeper put together partnerships with Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes to guide the hosts away from danger.
Stokes, who made 26 but never looked completely secure, fell after adding 46 with Kieswetter for the fifth wicket when Bird had him caught behind.
Woakes, who scored 92 in the first unofficial Test between the sides at Old Trafford, ended the day unbeaten on 48 in a 141-run stand with Kieswetter, who reached his hundred off 116 balls in 173 minutes.
Kieswetter's 10th first-class century was a dominant innings, including 17 fours and one six and moving from 50 to 100 in just 36 deliveries as Australia A's attack faded.
Bird finished with 2-65 off 16 overs, Coulter-Nile had 2-70 off 19 overs and Johnson claimed 1-55 off his 14 overs while off-spinner Nathan Lyon was expensive, conceding 47 runs off eight wicketless overs.