Man of the day

Back in 2005 Kevin Pietersen secured England the Ashes with his maiden Test century, made under intense pressure, at the Oval.

Last Updated: 25/08/13 at 20:53 Post Comment

Eight years on and at the ground he now calls home, the 33-year-old once again stole the spotlight on the final day of the series. With the hosts chasing 227 from 44 overs in the last session of Test cricket in the summer, Pietersen simply seemed primed for the occasion.

When Alastair Cook was dismissed for 34, trapped leg before by James Faulkner, not many in the crowd wanted his review of the initial decision to be successful.

The paying public wanted Pietersen, and he did not disappoint them.

Cheered to the crease, he quickly built on the platform provided by the top three with some punishing strokes, starting with a pair of boundaries off Faulkner that signalled his intentions almost from the off.

He greeted Mitchell Starc's return to the attack with a real dismissive drive. Yes, the delivery was full, but few others in world cricket would have hit it down the ground with such a mixture of style and sheer brute force.

The right-hander registered his half-century from a mere 36 deliveries, making it the fastest by an England batsman in Ashes history. His innings did lose a little impetus after that before he eventually perished for 62, well held at long-on by David Warner.

Perhaps it wasn't quite the 158 he hit back in '05, made against the likes of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Shane Warne. But this knock epitomised not only his importance to England but also the fact he is box office.

At his departure England needed 64 from the remaining 59 balls, though in the end their hopes were not dashed by a clatter of wickets or a plethora of dot balls but instead by the conditions. Once the brightest star of day five had been extinguished, the light faded and the game was drawn.

Yet when bad light meant the game ended with the hosts 21 short and four overs still to be bowled, the home team weren't too bothered. The job had been done, the series was already won and it was time to celebrate their hard work throughout the summer and before.

In the midst of their congratulations Pietersen spoke to Sky Sports on the balcony, telling Ian Ward of the run chase: "We had to give it a go, we wanted to entertain."

Entertain he certainly does, and few do it better in the sport than KP.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling would interest Manchester City – Sky sources

Manchester City would be interested in signing Raheem Sterling if he were to become available, according to Sky sources.

Alan Pardew not sure Crystal Palace can match fine season in 2015-16

Alan Pardew says it is going to be difficult to repeat Crystal Palace's sensational second half of the season when the 2015-16 campaign starts.

Tim Sherwood expects Christian Benteke to remain Aston Villa player

Tim Sherwood is convinced Christian Benteke wants to stay at Aston Villa, although he has not broached the subject with him.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company