Pietersen and Strauss hit form ahead of South Africa

Former England captain smashes 234 while his successor also weighs in with unbeaten century

Given that he tends not to spurn the opportunity to make a point, Kevin Pietersen will have drawn particular enjoyment from the extraordinary unbeaten 234 he made against Lancashire at Guildford yesterday, an innings that has so far included eight sixes.

It came in the first match involving the England batsman and the Lancashire coach, Peter Moores, since the falling out that cost them both their jobs with the national side in 2009.

Pietersen quit the captaincy and Moores was sacked as coach after Pietersen went public about their strained relationship, paving the way for Andrew Strauss to be appointed captain and Andy Flower coach.

Making his second appearance of the season in the Championship for Surrey, Pietersen was at his imperious best to see off the threat of a heavy defeat after Lancashire had declared at 485 for 7 on the third day.

The innings included 115 runs solely off the Lancashire left-arm spinner, Simon Kerrigan, who conceded seven of Pietersen's sixes and 10 of his 30 fours.

Coming in at 49 for 2, he shared a partnership of 181 in only 34 overs with the former Somerset all-rounder Zander de Bruyn, during which he reached 100 off only 93 balls.

Kerrigan dismissed De Bruyn, who was leg before sweeping, for 94, but Pietersen was far from finished. Showing the 23-year-old Kerrigan absolutely no mercy, he added another 50 from only 37 balls to pass 150 for the 19th time in his first-class career. When he hit his sixth maximum – this time off the pace bowler, Kyle Hogg – he was clearly intent on turning his 43rd career century into a seventh double.

He duly reached that milestone from 170 balls before continuing without let-up until the close. Another 20 runs on the final day, with Surrey 55 behind overnight, will equal the career-best 254 not out he made for Nottinghamshire against Middlesex in 2002.

His fierce hitting somewhat overshadowed a fine innings earlier in the day as Lancashire's Steven Croft extended his overnight century to a career-best 154 not out before Lancashire captain Glen Chapple declared following his own dismissal for 46.

The Pietersen innings came as a timely demonstration of his quality after reports that the door has not been completely closed on him helping England defend the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.

No such side issues are distracting Pietersen's successor as England Test captain. Back to form following his difficult winter with the bat, Andrew Strauss finished unbeaten on 127 against Nottinghamshire when weather intervened again at Uxbridge.

Strauss, who has three centuries in his last seven innings, including two in the Test series against the West Indies, reached 100 from 157 balls, with the last 38 runs coming off only 24 deliveries. He took a particular shine to his England team-mate, Samit Patel, against whose left-arm spin he hit 45 runs from 51 balls, including a six and four fours.

Despite 50 from Strauss, Middlesex were bowled out for 98 in the first innings before Nottinghamshire replied with 329 but they go into the final day with a lead of eight and eight wickets in hand.

Meanwhile, at the Rose Bowl, the young Yorkshire opener, Joe Root, confirmed the view that he is a Test player of the future with a maiden double century against Hampshire, finishing unbeaten on 222 when Yorkshire declared at 350 for 9. The 21-year-old, whose two previous centuries this season include and unbeaten 115 for England Lions against West Indies, hit 26 fours and three sixes.

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

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible