Pietersen ton on dramatic day puts England in driver’s seat

Kevin Pietersen hit an eventful 151 to brighten England's prospects of a series-levelling victory in the second and final Test against Sri Lanka

Written by Reuters | Colombo | Published: April 6, 2012 12:38:04 am

Kevin Pietersen hit an eventful 151 to brighten England’s prospects of a series-levelling victory in the second and final Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

The 31-year-old batsman lit up Day Three’s play with his array of scintillating shots,hitting 16 fours and six sixes as England secured a handy 185-run lead before being bowled out for 460 in their first innings. Pietersen,whose attempts at playing his switch-hits earned him an warning,joined Ken Barrington with 20 Test tons and now has more international centuries (29) than any other English batsman.

Sri Lanka had one over to face and they survived scoring four without loss,all leg byes. Nightwatchman Dhammika Prasad came out to open with Lahiru Thirumanne and survived a leg before appeal off Jimmy Anderson.

Warned for switch-hit

The day belonged to Pietersen and there was drama when he was in the 90s. Twice he moved into position to play the controversial switch-hit shot and bowler Tillakaratne Dilshan pulled up during his delivery stride on both occasions when he saw the batsman changing his stance. Pietersen was subsequently warned for the premeditated movement and was told a repetition would mean a five-run penalty,match referee Javagal Srinath said in a statement.

That,however,did not happen and Pietersen was trapped leg before by left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (6-133) who picked up his 10th five-wicket haul in a Test innings.

“A longer innings would have done us a world of good but it was so hot out there,” Pietersen said. “There was no way I could bat until tomorrow. My right hamstring had gone and both my forearms had gone.”

Sri Lanka picked up two wickets during the afternoon session with Herath accounting for Jonathan Trott (64) and Prasad removing Ian Bell (18). Trott,pushing forward,edged the ball to Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene at slip to depart after a 137-ball knock that included seven fours. Bell was dismissed when his hook found Suraj Randiv at mid-wicket,having helped Pietersen in a fourth-wicket stand of 94 off 118 balls.

Left-arm spinner Herath went on to account for Matt Prior (11),Tim Bresnan (five),Graeme Swann (17) and Anderson (two) as England lost their last five wickets for 49 runs.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 1st innings 275; England 1st innings 460 (Kevin Pietersen 151,Alastair Cook 94,Andrew Strauss 61; Rangana Herath 6/133,Tillakaratne Dilshan 2/73)

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