Cook leads from front with ton

England

England climbed to 286 for four in reply to India A's 379 all out on day two of their three-day tour fixture at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

England climbed to 286 for four in reply to India A's 379 all out on day two of their three-day tour fixture at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Opener Nick Compton fell for a duck on debut and Kevin Pietersen's return to the team was marked by a brisk 23 before he perished to spinner Yuvraj Singh, who also removed Ian Bell cheaply.

Jonathan Trott scored a tidy 56 before getting out to slow bowler Suresh Raina, after which Alastair Cook and Samit Patel stole the show for the duration of the day.

The pair were near flawless across an unbroken 153-run stand, which went a long way in quelling criticism of England's approach in sub-continental conditions.

Cook's 112 not out weighed in as the 39th century of his first-class career, while Patel's unbeaten 82 offered the Test selectors food for thought – and put pressure on Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan.

India A used as many as eight bowlers in their quest for breakthrough, with Yuvraj upstaging the lot thanks to figures of two for 52.

Tuesday saw half-centuries from Yuvraj, Manoj Tiwary and Abhinav Munkud key to the hosts' formidable first-innings total, with Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann taking three wickets each.

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