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Strauss and Trego punish India

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Andrew Strauss

England Test captain Andrew Strauss celebrates his century to complete a highly successful guest appearance for Somerset against tourists India

Andrew Strauss hit an unbeaten 109 to confirm his return to form as Somerset’s tour match with India ended in a draw at Taunton.

Having helped himself to 78 in the first innings, the England Test captain concluded a guest appearance for the county which could hardly have gone better by hitting 18 fours and a six in a second innings total of 260 for two declared.

Peter Trego further dented the confidence of India’s attack by blasting 85 not out off 57 balls, striking seven sixes and seven fours whilst sharing an unbroken stand of 129 with Strauss as Somerset built a lead of 461. India closed on 69 without loss in their second innings.

Earlier, Suresh Raina had smashed 103 not out, with five sixes and 14 fours, as the tourists extended their first innings from an overnight 138 for eight to 224 all out.

Raina, who captained India’s one-day side in West Indies, provided the one note of concern for Strauss with some explosive shots that took him to a century off 110 balls.

Perhaps influenced by the England skipper, Somerset declined to enforce the follow-on and soon Strauss was taking a second opportunity to rebuild self-belief following his struggles against Sri Lanka.

There was not a semblance of a chance as some meaty pull shots and sweetly timed drives took him to three figures off 122 deliveries.

After Arul Suppiah followed up his first innings century with 45 there was disappointment for England Lions captain James Hildreth, who fell for a first ball duck, edging an Amit Mishra leg-spinner to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

That brought in Trego to face the hat-trick ball. Having survived it, the 27-year-old all-rounder launched a savage assault that included taking 28 off an over from Mishra, with four mighty sixes off successive balls.

Trego reached fifty as three Mishra overs went for 61 runs and was denied what looked a certain hundred when Somerset declared at tea.

If India were hoping to salvage something from the game in their second innings, the weather had other ideas as rain twice interrupting their progress before the close.

Zaheer Khan and Sachin Tendulkar were absent from the field throughout Somerset’s second innings, but word from the Indian dressing room was that neither had an injury.

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