Pietersen boosts hopes of England recall with century


LONDON: Kevin Pietersen sent a message to new England chief Andrew Strauss as the exiled batsman blasted a career-best score of 326 not out on Monday to boost his hopes of an international recall.

Pietersen surpassed his previous first-class best of 254 in a mammoth innings for Surrey on day two of their County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at The Oval.

The 34-year-old´s new record total came in just 373 balls as he smashed 34 fours and 14 sixes to all corners of the south London venue.

His mastery of the Leicestershire attack was so complete that, by the close of play, no other Surrey player scored more than 36 in their first innings total of 528 for nine.

It was a perfectly timed statement of intent from Pietersen just 24 hours before Strauss´s first public address as England´s new director of cricket.

The South Africa-born star had notched his first Championship double century since July 2012 earlier in the day and then passed his previous first-class best of 254 not out for Nottinghamshire against Middlesex in August 2002.

Pietersen wasn´t finished there and he continued to demolish Leicestershire´s bowling before reaching his triple hundred in typically flamboyant fashion with a sweep for six.

But, despite his welcome return to form, Pietersen will know that routing a team from English cricket´s second tier is still a far cry from dominating in similar fashion in the Test arena against New Zealand and Australia, who both face England over the coming months.

Pietersen´s slender hopes of a recall remain with Strauss, who was appointed the England and Wales Cricket Board´s (ECB) new director of cricket over the weekend at the same time Peter Moores was dismissed as coach.

Strauss, who captained Pietersen during their time in the England team and had a difficult relationship with the batsman, will hold his first press conference on Tuesday, before announcing the Test squad to face New Zealand at Lord´s next week.

Pietersen has been cast adrift from England´s plans since he was sacked from all apparent future plans in the aftermath of their 2013-14 Ashes whitewash defeat.

But incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves provided renewed hope that Pietersen could yet return when he hinted in March that runs for Surrey could provide the pathway he needs and he responded by agreeing a new contract with the county. (AFP)

Source:: Geo News