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July 30, 2007
Grievous Bodily Harm and the Latin way: Kevin Pietersen was extremely fortunate to escape GBH when Sreesanth produced a wicked beamer that swung like a curveball while flying past his helmet. His sway and fall though were straight out of Swan Lake, or perhaps he's been watching too much Latin football where players go to ground as though shot when tackled.
You only live twice: Pietersen's good fortune didn't end there. RP Singh was more than halfway to the slip cordon in celebration after he induced the faintest of edges, but Pietersen stood his ground and Simon Taufel, whose poor match continued, was unmoved. Justice wouldn't be denied though, and the next ball thudded into Pietersen's pads in front of the stumps after he shouldered arms to one that nipped back alarmingly.
Touches of class: Michael Vaughan's announced his arrival as a world-class bat on India's last tour here, when he made 615 runs with three centuries. A beautifully timed push through the covers off Anil Kumble took him to a 17th Test century, a tremendous achievement for a man whose future in the game was considered bleak just a few months ago.
Knockout blow: RP Singh's jubilant leap and punch in the air after claiming Pietersen's wicket took him dangerously close to the batsman. In a match that has seen plenty of needle, it was another potential flashpoint, but Pietersen walked away without making an issue of it. After the lip from the English fielders on Sunday, retribution of some kind was expected, and the tension spread to the stands as well with certain Indian appeals being booed and cries of "Get on with it".
Walking the talk: Zaheer Khan has been India's strike bowler for years, but had never lived up to the great expectations. In this series, he has finally bowled like the man all of India hoped he would be, with pace, control and energy. The early dismissal of Alastair Cook was crucial; as was the double-blow that saw Vaughan and Ian Bell back in the pavilion in the space of three balls.
Circus act: Chris Tremlett's loft to mid-on was as tame as tame can be in a situation that called for obduracy, but RP Singh's fumble and juggle would have given the other fielders palpitations before the catch was finally completed. All's well that ends though.
Short-leg perils: When India came out to bat, Wasim Jaffer flicked a delivery from Ryan Sidebottom off his hips. It's usually the lot of a junior player to stand at forward short leg, and Cook was the unlucky man as the ball thudded into the box before rolling off towards square leg. Some singles are more painful than others.
Dileep Premachandran is associate editor of CricinfoFeeds: Dileep Premachandran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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