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KP's magic moments

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 12-05-2015 skysports.com

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Getty
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In the wake of Kevin Pietersen's triple-hundred for Surrey, we look back at his career highlights. 

Versus South Africa, Headingley, 2012

Batting is Pietersen’s uppermost skill but he has taken 10 Test-match wickets with his off spin, counting Michael Clarke, MS Dhoni and Ross Taylor among his victims. His best haul in an innings, though, is the three he claimed against South Africa at Headingley in 2012 – and what a trio it was! Pietersen trapped Jacques Rudolph lbw and then had Proteas skipper Graeme Smith and the wristy Hashim Amla caught out by James Taylor and Alastair Cook respectively to stall his native nation’s push for victory. Pietersen had earlier shone with the willow as well, making mincemeat of South Africa’s vaunted pace attack to cream 149 runs from 214 balls, his 21st and final Test-match ton as things stand. England drew the Test but things went south for Pietersen after that when he was axed from the side in the wake of the ‘Textgate’ scandal, with the right-hander alleged to have sent derogatory messages about some of his England team-mates to South African players.

Versus Australia, Adelaide, 2010

The 2013-14 Ashes didn’t go according to plan for Pietersen – he mustered just two fifties in 10 innings as England were thumped 5-0 and was then sacked by the ECB hierarchy shortly after – but that wasn’t the case four seasons previously when he helped his country win the urn for the first time Down Under in 24 years. Pietersen’s finest moment came in the second Test at Adelaide as he plundered a stunning first-innings 227 to tee up an innings and 71-run victory for the tourists. KP’s knock – his second Test double hundred following his 226 against West Indies at Headingley in 2007 – took him just 308 deliveries as he pummelled the likes of Xavier Doherty, Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger to all parts. Pietersen smoked 33 fours and also thumped Doherty for six over long-on after dancing down the pitch. Doherty got his man later on, with Pietersen toe-ending to Simon Katich in the slip cordon, but the damage had been done.

2010 ICC World Twenty20

Pietersen’s exploits haven’t been limited to the Test arena, though, with the headline-making batter playing a starring role for England in their 2010 ICC World Twenty20 triumph. Pietersen crunched 248 runs across the competition while opening alongside fellow South Africa native Craig Kieswetter, including a highest score of 73 not out against Pakistan in the group stages and a crucial 47 in the final as England chased down Australia’s 147-6 with 18 balls to spare. He was named Man of the Tournament after guiding England to their first one-day trophy and, with his international career over – for the time being at least – it is in the T20 arena where Pietersen has fired of late. A stint with the Melbourne Stars in this term’s Big Bash League in Australia yielded 293 runs and three half-centuries, not to mention some entertaining forays into the commentary box.

Versus South Africa, 2005

Pietersen knew he would get some stick from South Africa fans when he toured there for the first time as an England player in 2005 but his startling performances in the ODI series saw reproaches replaced with respect by the end of the piece. Pietersen, drafted into England’s squad following an injury to Andrew Flintoff, pummelled an unbeaten 96-ball 108 in the second of seven encounters in Bloemfontein, before backing that up with the then-quickest century for England in ODI cricket – his 69-ball effort was bettered by Jos Buttler (61 balls) against Sri Lanka in May 2014 – and another three-figure score at Centurion. Pietersen was booed mercilessly by the Proteas faithful at the start of the series but his final hundred of the tour saw him earn a standing ovation. England lost 4-1 to South Africa but a star had been born and he soon made his bow in Test cricket…

Versus Australia, The Oval, 2005

Preferred to veteran Graham Thorpe for the 2005 Ashes, Pietersen showed glimpses of his talents in the early matches, recording two half-centuries in the opening Test at Lord’s and a 70-odd in the second at Edgbaston, but he sparked pandemonium at The Oval with his urn-securing maiden Test hundred on an unforgettable September day. England, 2-1 up in the five-match series and needing only a draw to regain The Ashes for the first time in 16 years, wobbled on the final day in South London, slipping five down with a lead of just 133. Step forward, Kevin Peter Pietersen. He looked like a maverick with his badger haircut but marshalled England’s batting expertly, thrashing 15 fours and seven sixes after being helped on his way by three dropped catches from the Australians. Ashley Giles and Paul Collingwood played their part with stubborn knocks but it was Pietersen’s 158 that took the game and series away from The Baggy Greens and kicked off a topsy-turvy decade for the batsman in England’s Test team.

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