Ashes: Kevin Pietersen double ton drives England forward
Kevin Pietersen blasted his second Test double hundred to continue England’s dominant start to the second Ashes Test as the visitors built a 306-run lead in Adelaide.
England were too good for an Australian attack which lacked any real threat as the batsman took full control. Alastair Cook fell for 148 before Paul Collingwood (40) and Ian Bell (41*) shared 50-run partnerships with Pietersen able to capitalise on their work during the first two days’ play.
Ryan Harris (2-84) and Shane Watson (1-44) took the two English wickets to fall as the hosts endured another trying day in the field. Rain then brought the day to a premature end with England holding a sizeable 306-run lead.
Cook and Pietersen continued where they let off the evening before, scoring freely on both sides of the wicket. Their only concern came when an Australian review was called but the original not out decision stood.
Unbeaten on 85 overnight Pietersen set off quickly to achieve his milestone and soon brought up his ton with another clip to the leg side boundary.
Cook remained convincing on the front foot, strolling towards his 150 before falling just two runs short. Ryan Harris brought one back off the seam to take the England opener’s inside edge for Brad Haddin to collect.
But this lift for Australia was quickly dampened as Pietersen, who was able to capitalise on Xavier Doherty’s disappointing performance, cut loose. Collingwood meanwhile quietly ticked along almost unnoticed as Pietersen found the boundary with regularity.
Pietersen was nearly caught as he top edged a nasty short ball from Harris, and the Australian frustrations were compounded by the home side’s poor ground fielding.
Just before lunch Pietersen swept Doherty to the leg side boundary once more and in doing so notched up his sixth score of over 150. The tourists scored their runs quickly in the opening session at over five runs per over in another dominant display.
Collingwood was trapped lbw to Shane Watson soon after the restart but Pietersen kept up his dominance, refusing to let Australia build any pressure. The England talisman was imperious through midwicket, revoking memories of the iconic flamingo shot that saw him burst onto the Test scene.
Bell displayed his intent to score quickly and extend the lead alongside Pietersen and the pair took the score to 500-4 during the afternoon session.
Despite struggling with a leg niggle, Pietersen laboured on and scampered a single to mid off to complete his second double hundred. The England batsman maintained his fine form in Adelaide having made a hundred at The Oval the last time the side was Down Under.
Their partnership passed 50 as the pair offered the crowd a real show with some incredible stroke play to take England closer to a declaration, going into tea with a 306-run lead.
However, rain during the interval prevented the restart and its persistence washed out the rest of the day to put England’s progress on hold.