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

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting