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

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Premier League: Mesut Ozil keen to live up to Arsenal fans' expectations

Mesut Ozil believes criticism of his performances at Arsenal stems from expectations of him being "one of the best number 10s in the world."

Daley Blind: Ajax give permission for Manchester United to start transfer talks

Manchester United have begun talks with Daley Blind after agreeing a fee with Ajax.

Transfer news: QPR striker Loic Remy to hold talks with Chelsea

Queens Park Rangers have given permission for Loic Remy to hold talks with Chelsea, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property