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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain