Pietersen targets a century

BRISBANE - Kevin Pietersen was eyeing a century after Paul Collingwood made 96 and England finally found some form to stall Australia's march towards victory in the first Ashes Test yesterday.

BRISBANE - Kevin Pietersen was eyeing a century after Paul Collingwood made 96 and England finally found some form to stall Australia's march towards victory in the first Ashes Test yesterday.

Pietersen belted 14 boundaries in an unbeaten 92 after Collingwood fell agonisingly short of his own hundred to help England reach 293 for five in their second innings and force the match into a final day.

Australia, who lost the Ashes to England last year for the first time since 1989, were looking to wrap up victory with a day to spare after dominating the first three days at the Gabba then declaring before lunch yesterday with a massive 647-run lead.

With no real prospect of victory, England's best hope of salvaging something from the match was to try and survive the last two days to force a draw or get some valuable batting practice before the second Test starts in Adelaide on Friday.

But their chances of achieving either of those aims seemed doomed when they lost Andrew Strauss (11), Ian Bell (no score) and Alastair Cook (43) cheaply to slump to 91 for three when Pietersen and Collingwood set about restoring England's pride.

Despite the team's grim position, the pair went on the attack, treating the Australian bowlers with contempt as they piled on 153 for the fourth wicket at almost a run a minute and finally giving their travelling supporters a reason to cheer.- Reuters

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