Andrew Strauss hits century as India draw with Somerset

Tour match, Taunton (day three of three):
Somerset 425-3 dec & 260-2 dec drew with India 224 & 69-0
Match scorecard
Andrew Strauss raises his bat after reaching his century
Strauss hit 18 fours and a six in his unbeaten 109

England skipper Andrew Strauss added an unbeaten 109 to his first-innings 78 as Somerset piled on the runs but settled for a draw with India at Taunton.

India began the final day on 132-8, and Suresh Raina (103 not out) marshalled the tail well before they were bowled out for 224 - a deficit of 201.

Strauss added 131 with Arul Suppiah (45) and 129 with Peter Trego (85 not out) before Somerset declared at 260-2.

Set a notional 462 to win, India had reached 69-0 when a draw was agreed.

England had announced their squad for the first Test, which begins at Lord's on Thursday, before the start of play - and national selector Geoff Miller defended Strauss's leadership style after he had been labelled as "defensive" by former captain Michael Vaughan.

But after an uncertain series with the bat against Sri Lanka, in which he only scored 27 runs in four innings, the Middlesex opener has made full use of the opportunity, offered to him by Somerset because his own county did not have a first-class game, to play himself back into form.

Strauss's difficulties against left-arm seam bowlers have recently come under the microscope after he was dismissed three times by Sri Lanka's Chanaka Welegedara, and it was noticeable that India did not bowl veteran left-armer Zaheer Khan in the second innings, entrusting 21 of the 41 overs to Amit Mishra's leg-spin and Raina's part-time off-spin.

In fact, neither Zaheer, wicketless in the first innings, nor star batsman Sachin Tendulkar took the field as Somerset continued to make hay after declining to enforce the follow-on.

Having scored 156 the first time around, Suppiah took his match aggregate past 200 before falling to Mishra, who then had James Hildreth caught behind first ball.

But Trego survived the hat-trick ball and went on to hammer his 85 from only 57 balls, smashing seven sixes and as many fours to set up the declaration, which came at the tea interval.

Earlier, Raina pressed his claims for a batting place at Lord's with an unbeaten century of his own, dominating a last-wicket partnership with Munaf Patel, who contributed only six to a stand of 84, after Sreesanth fell early to become Charl Willoughby's sixth victim of the innings.

The former South Africa seamer finished with figures of 6-76 after ripping through India's top order on Saturday.

In the evening session, stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund, who recently made his Test debut against West Indies and is set to open at Lord's while Virender Sehwag remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, remained unbeaten as the game petered out into a draw.

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