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

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Transfer news: Dundee United defender Keith Watson has joined Hibernian

Dundee United defender Keith Watson has joined Hibernian on loan until the end of the season.

Luis Figo enters race to challenge Sepp Blatter in FIFA presidential election

Former Ballon d'Or winner Luis Figo has announced his intention to stand for the FIFA presidency.

Transfer news: Fiorentina will only consider Juan Cuadrado sale if Chelsea meet 35m euro asking price

Sky sources say Fiorentina will not sell Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea this month unless their full 35m euro asking price is met.

Mail Box

'Diego Costa Is A Thug.' Sore Losers..?

There is plenty of fallout from Diego Costa's stamps of authority on Tuesday's League Cup semi-final. Plus Blatter, Rodgers' substitutions and stretching the transfer truth...

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

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