England are on the verge of victory in the second test against India with the hosts holding a slim 31-run lead with three second innings wickets in hand.

At close of play on day three India were 117-7 after English spinner Monty Panesar ripped through the Indian middle order, finishing the day with 5-69.

Fellow spinner Graeme Swann took the other two wickets with India's hopes now resting on Gautam Gambhir (53 not out) to save the test.

Earlier in the day England were bowled out for 413 with Kevin Pietersen proving his reinstatement to the side was well worth it, making 186 for his 22nd test century and fifth against India.


It was Pietersen's third ton of 2012 despite it being a mixed year off the the pitch for the 32-year-old who was dropped from the England camp for texting abuse about teammates to South African players during the English summer.

England held an 86-run first innings lead and by the time India eclipsed it in their second innings they were already five wickets down.

Gambhir was the only batsman in the top seven to reach double figures with Sachin Tendulkar again failing to fire, making eight for the second time in the test match before Panesar had him LBW.

Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh (1) will resume the Indian innings tonight.

India lead the four test series 1-0 after a nine wicket victory in the first test.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the unacceptable conditions the Indian cricket board is trying to impose on photo agencies we will not be running photos from the current India-England cricket series.

- nzherald.co.nz