County Championship round-up: Pietersen delivers timely reminder of supreme talent


His mouth and his texting fingers may let him down but when Kevin Pietersen allows his bat alone to do the talking it is difficult not to take notice and approve. Reduced to the ranks as a mere county player while his international future remains in the air, Pietersen marked his return to Championship action for Surrey at Taunton by hitting 163 off 168 balls against Somerset.

He had scored an unbeaten 234 against Lancashire on his previous appearance in four-day cricket for the county. Yesterday's innings followed his brilliant 149 for England against South Africa at Headingley before the breakdown of his relationship with the England captain, Andrew Strauss, came to the fore with the revelation of derogatory comments made about Strauss in text messages to members of the South African team.

Pietersen, who hit 20 fours and three sixes in scoring more than half of Surrey's total of 317 all out, is reported to be scheduled to meet Strauss later this week in the hope that fences can be mended, although Pietersen made it clear through Surrey officials that he would be making no comment on that or any other matter during the current match. Strauss, who was due to have played for Middlesex this week, withdrew from their match at Worcester on Monday, on England's orders.

Circumspect when he strode out to bat with Surrey 44 for 2 in a match they need to win to banish their relegation fears, Pietersen accelerated during the afternoon session and reached his half-century off 66 balls before scoring at a run a ball to reach his century with his 15th boundary.

His next 50 runs came off only 36 balls, including two sixes off left-arm spinner George Dockrell. The innings ended when he was caught behind off the bowling of his erstwhile England team-mate, Saj Mahmood, who has joined Somerset on loan in the hope of reviving his career and finished with 4 for 62.

Somerset are still outside contenders for the Championship, of which the ultimate winners may emerge at Edgbaston, where Warwickshire are meeting Nottinghamshire in the first of two late-season clashes.

Warwickshire, who had a 12-point lead over Sussex and a 27-point advantage on Nottinghamshire going into this round, chose to bat first on winning the toss and were well placed after half-centuries from Ian Westwood and Tim Ambrose. A victory for Warwickshire would all but guarantee them the prize, given that Sussex have one match fewer to play.

Lancashire lost their first four wickets for 11 runs against Durham after a delayed start at Liverpool. They were grateful later for half-centuries from Gareth Cross and Tom Smith. Worcestershire, who began the round level on 87 points with Lancashire at the foot of Division One, some 15 behind Surrey, are 295 for eight against Middlesex.

Left-arm spinner David Wainwright took four for 64 as Division Two leaders Derbyshire bowled out Essex for 245 at Derby, but slipped to 27 for three in reply. Promotion-chasing Yorkshire had Gloucestershire nine for four at Scarborough before the visitors recovered to 214 all out. Yorkshire are 61 for two in reply.

Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk