Kevin Pietersen's thrilling century riles Sri Lanka

 

Colombo

Kevin Pietersen was back to his explosive - and controversial - best as his stunning century put England in control of the second Test against Sri Lanka.

He came to the crease with a top score of 32 in eight innings this year but by the end of day three at the P.Sara Stadium he had become the sixth man to score 20 Test centuries for England, with his 151 helping England reach stumps 181 ahead.

His innings contained six sixes and 16 fours but also included an official warning from the umpires for altering his stance before the bowler's delivery stride, collected during an eventful passage of play where Tillakaratne Dilshan twice refused to bowl after Pietersen re-set his position at the crease.

Had he transgressed again, England would have been given a five-run penalty by the match referee, Javagal Srinath.

Alastair Cook had earlier fallen six short of his own 20th hundred and Jonathan Trott contributed a fluent 64 in England's total of 460 all out.

They started the day on 154 for one, Cook on 77 and Trott with 15.

That left Sri Lanka's lead at 121, a figure they whittled down to 100 inside six overs. With Cook quiet, Trott was doing most of the scoring in ones and twos, adding the occasional boundary.

Cook's stately knock had reached 94, in 278 balls, by the time he edged Tillakaratne Dilshan to slip.

His replacement, Pietersen, pulled Suranga Lakmal contemptuously for his first boundary, while Trott was typically ruthless through the on-side as he passed 50.

Pietersen offered one half-chance before lunch, looping over short-leg via bat and pad, but England reached the interval without further loss on 239 for two.

Pietersen resumed on 18 and settled into his afternoon's work with a mighty straight six off Dilshan.

Trott did not seem as comfortable as he had before the break and should have been stumped before steering Herath into Mahela Jayawardene's hands for 64.

Pietersen was not affected by the dismissal, taking fifteen off Suraj Randiv's next over including fours on each side of the wicket and another six down the ground.

A third maximum, again off Randiv, brought up a 59-ball half-century and, more importantly, took England into the lead. Pietersen looked in particularly inspired form, thrashing back-to-back fours off the victimised Randiv and carving Herath to the extra-cover ropes.

Jayawardene duly packed his leg-side field and ordered defensive lines in an attempt to stifle Pietersen, who responded by unveiling a series of pre-meditated paddles, reverse sweeps and even his seldom-seen switch-hit.

The runs kept flowing but Sri Lanka were unhappy with Pietersen's tactics and Dilshan twice aborted his run-up as the batsman got into position too early.

The umpires took Dilshan's side, with Asad Rauf formally warning Pietersen and indicating a five-run penalty should he transgress again.

But it was Dilshan who lost his composure. Pietersen took 18 runs off the over in question, smashing three terrible deliveries for two fours and a six.

Pietersen, never shy of a confrontation, went down early again to reverse-sweep Dilshan for the two runs that brought up his century and celebrated with an exaggerated sprint and air-punch.

Amidst the drama Ian Bell made a low-key 18 before being caught at mid-wicket just before tea.

Matt Prior was Pietersen's new foil, but managed only 11 before skying Rangana Herath to long-off early in the evening session.

Pietersen was in the zone, though, clearing the ropes again off Herath and Lakmal as he almost single-handedly moved England from 350 to 400 in the space of 65 balls.

He took his own tally to 150 soon after but added just one more single before eventually missing one and departing lbw to Herath.

That left England 411 for six, a lead of 136.

Tim Bresnan followed closely behind, bowled by Herath for five, but England's lead ticked beyond 150 when Graeme Swann got off the mark with a boundary.

Samit Patel was playing responsibly at the other end, allowing the tail-ender to attack. Swann obliged with six over long-on but was out next ball, mis-hitting a Herath full toss to cover.

James Anderson (two) gave the tireless Herath a sixth success before Patel holed out for 29.

Anderson then had one unsuccessful over at nightwatchman Dhammika Prasad before the close.

PA

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little