England lead India by 544 in 3rd test

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) Desperate to end a disastrous run of seven defeats in nine tests, England built India a 569-run mountain to climb at the Rose Bowl on Monday, hoping that the tourists' batsmen will struggle on a wicket where its own top order had enjoyed rare success.

In reply, India had reached 25-1 at stumps on day two of the third test, 544 runs behind England's commanding first innings of 569-7 declared.

While that mountain appears daunting right now, a good day's batting on Tuesday could easily see the test heading for a draw. England's task is to dismiss India - twice - in only three days on a wicket which has drawn some criticism for being too easy to bat on.


South Africa win Sri Lanka test series

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) South Africa frustrated Sri Lanka's spin attack with a defensive batting strategy to earn a draw in the second test on Monday and win the two-match series, 1-0.

Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath bagged five wickets -the 18th time he has taken five or more wickets in an innings - but he couldn't prevent the draw after Sri Lanka set a 369-run target for the visitors on the final day of the test. (MORE)

Pietersen to play in Big Bash Twenty20

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has signed to play for the Melbourne Stars in Australian cricket's Big Bash Twenty20 League next season.

Pietersen, who was dumped by England after their Ashes defeat to Australia this year, is the league's most high-profile signing to date. (MORE)

Cook hits 95 as England close on 247-2

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) England captain Alastair Cook was dismissed on 95, an agonizing five runs short of his first century in 14 months, as the hosts finished day one of the third test against India on 247-2 at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.

Cook got the faintest of touches to a delivery from Ravindra Jadeja, and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the catch. (MORE)

Herath strikes early for Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath picked up an early wicket to put South Africa under pressure as the visitors, chasing 369 to win the second test, finished day four on 38-1 Sunday.

Opening the bowling, the left-arm spinner had opener Alviro Petersen caught by Kithruwan Vithanage without scoring with the total on four. (MORE)

Dickwella fined and reprimanded on debut

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Sri Lanka's debutant wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella has been fined and reprimanded for claiming an unfair catch in the ongoing second cricket test against South Africa, International Cricket Council authorities said Sunday.

The ICC said in a statement that the 21-year-old was fined 10 percent of his match fee and given an official reprimand after he pleaded guilty to the offense. (MORE)

Cook: England players still back me

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) Alastair Cook says his England teammates still want him to be captain but denies the pressures of leading his country have damaged his form with the bat.

Cook says "there is nothing worse when you don't score runs and feeling you have let the other 10 guys down." (MORE)

Dhoni slams 'hurtful' ICC fine on Jadeja

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he was "very hurt" by the International Cricket Council's decision to fine Ravindra Jadeja 50 percent of his match fee after an incident with England bowler James Anderson.

Speaking Saturday on the eve of the third test against England at the Rose Bowl, Dhoni put up a fierce defense of his teammate, who was fined Friday by the ICC for a level one breach of "conduct contrary to the spirit of the game." (MORE)

South Africa dismissed for 282

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Sri Lanka offspinner Dilruwan Perera took a career-best 5-69 to help dismiss South Africa for 282 in its first innings and give his team an overall 150-run lead in the second test on Saturday with two days left.

Hashim Amla finished unbeaten on 139 - his 22nd test century - but a lack of support from teammates meant conceding a big first innings lead to Sri Lanka. (MORE)

Jadeja fined for incident with Anderson

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) The India cricket board wasn't satisfied with a guilty verdict against Ravindra Jadeja for an incident with England bowler James Anderson, and still believed its allrounder was not to blame.

The International Cricket Council released the decision on Friday, after a hearing the previous night involving both players. (MORE)

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