Skipper KP slams ton
England Captain Kevin Pietersen hits his 14th Test century as the hosts stormed to 232 for four at tea against South Africa on the second day of the fourth Test.cricket Updated: Aug 08, 2008 23:17 IST
England Captain Kevin Pietersen hit his 14th Test century on Friday as the hosts stormed to 232 for four at tea against South Africa on the second day of the fourth Test. England lead South Africa by 38 with six first innings wickets in hand, although the tourists hold an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Paul Collingwood will resume after the break on 49 with Andrew Flintoff on nine. Pietersen, became the fourth England player to score a century in his first match as captain. The first was Archie MacClaren, who made 109 against Australia in 1897. The two others are Allan Lamb who made 119 against the West Indies in 1990 and Andrew Strauss scored 128 against Pakistan.
Pietersen came to the wicket in the first over of the day after England resumed on their overnight 49-1. Ian Bell had survived just three balls before he pushed at Makhaya Ntini to be caught at slip by Graeme Smith for 24. Alistair Cook batted solidly and had added 60 with Pietersen to take the score to 111-2 when he wafted outside off stump to be caught behind.
Pietersen, who took over as captain after Michael Vaughan looked completely unaffected by the new responsibility. Having faced just a handful of balls, he whipped a full-length Ntini delivery from outside off stump through midwicket. It set the tone for the rest of his innings as he played a string of powerful drives through the leg-side. He took 15 runs of a single Morne Morkel over as he added 108 for the fourth wicket with Collingwood.
At Edgbaston, Pietersen was criticized for attempting to reach his hundred with a six but was caught instead. At The Oval he made no such mistake, patiently taking singles through the nineties before whipping Ntini through midwicket to bring up his second century of the series.