Mumbai: England lost four wickets in the morning session but still managed to take a 27-run lead over India 'A', reaching 396 for eight at lunch on the third day of the opening tour game in Mumbai on Thursday.

Resuming at an overnight score of 286 for four, England went past India’s first innings total of 369 even as Samit Patel became the second English player after captain Alastair Cook to complete his century.

At lunch, Tim Bresnan was unbeaten on 21 and James Anderson was not out on 1.

Patel, who was unbeaten on 82 on Wednesday, scored a ton while wicketkeeper Matt Prior hit a half-century to help England take a slight edge over the hosts.

For India, Yuvraj Singh, who grabbed two wickets in quick succession on Wednesday to push the visitors on to the back foot, was again among the wickets as he dismissed both Patel and Prior in one over after Cook had fallen to medium pacer Ashok Dinda. Swann departed at the stroke of lunch to give Vinay Kumar his first wicket of the innings.

Yuvraj, after making a fine 59 with the help of seven fours and four sixes, contributed with the ball too as his lunch time figures read an impressive 74 for four in 23 overs.

On resumption of play on Thursday, England initially made slow progress against the medium pace duo of Dinda and Irfan Pathan. Barring a ball on his leg off the first ball from Dinda, which skipper Cook helped himself to a four to long leg, he along with his fifth wicket partner Patel were kept in check by the Indian pacers.

Cook departed when Dinda angled a ball away to which the left handed opener poked his bat at and edged to keeper Wriddhiman Saha after 19 minutes of play.

His partnership with Patel yielded 169 runs off 321 balls, in 218 minutes that pulled the side from 133 for 4 to 300-run plus.

Cook, who resumed at overnight score of 112, could add just seven more runs before falling at 119 off 269 balls, having consumed 379 minutes.

He hit 14 fours but most importantly spent good time at the crease to get used to the wicket and weather conditions in his team’s first of three warm-up games ahead of the four-Test rubber.

The arrival of Prior quickened the pace of scoring as the Sussex player looked for runs from the beginning even as his partner Patel preferred to inch his way to the three-figure mark from 82 overnight.

Patel reached his first 100 on the tour with a single to square leg in the 11th over, having taken almost 50 minutes to add the 18 runs needed to attain the landmark.

Prior, meanwhile, was also lucky to be dropped by Ajinkya Rahane on four when he slashed Dinda to the gully fielder.

Dinda, unlucky not to have added the wicket of Prior to those of openers Nick Compton and Cook in his bag, gave way to Yuvraj’s slow left arm spin after a morning spell of 6—0—38—1.

Overall, he had figures of 2 for 84 at the interval.

Prior raced to his 50 in as many balls and with the help of nine hits to the fence before he edged a Yuvraj delivery to slip fielder and the host captain Suresh Raina took the catch.

Patel was caught by Murali Vijay at covers off a leading edge when trying to flick the Yuvraj. He had stayed for more than four-and-a-half hours and struck 14 boundaries in 173 balls.

The partnership between Patel and Prior was worth 65 runs in 12.1 overs.

Just when lunch was round the corner, Swann was bowled when a ball from Vinay Kumar kept a bit low.

(Agencies)

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