KP rescues England
Kevin Pietersen shrugged off a switch-hit controversy to smash an explosive 151 off 165 balls as England took charge of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Thursday.
The flamboyant Pietersen plundered 16 boundaries and six sixes in his 20th Test century as the tourists piled up 460 in their first innings before being all out just before stumps on the third day.
Sri Lanka, trailing by 185 runs, were 4-0 from one over in their second knock at close with Lahiru Thirimanne and Dhammika Prasad at the crease.
England, who lost the first Test in Galle by 75 runs, have two days to force a series-levelling win on the wearing P. Sara Oval wicket and retain their number one ranking.
Pietersen was warned twice by the on-field umpires before the tea break for changing his stance to make a switch hit — a right-hander playing a shot with a left-hander's grip. The warning from officials Bruce Oxenford and Asad Rauf came after bowler Dilshan had to stop twice in his run-up as Pietersen turned around in his stance.
The laws of the game state the switch hit is legal, but a batsman cannot change stance before the bowler has delivered the ball.
Match referee Javagal Srinath of India said a third offence by any England batsmen would have resulted in five penalty runs being awarded to hosts.
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