Kevin Pietersen 158 vs. Australia, The Oval, September 2005





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Uploaded on Aug 14, 2009

This was the most important Ashes innings by an England batsman since Ian Botham demoralised Australia on the opening day of the 1986-87 series in Brisbane. And it almost never happened. When Pietersen came out to bat on the last day of the series in 2005 with England needing a draw to secure their first Ashes win in 18 years, Glenn McGrath had just removed Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell in consecutive balls. His hat-trick delivery struck Pietersen on the shoulder and rebounded to gully - only for umpire Billy Bowden to correctly rule not out.

More tension was to follow. In the next over, Matthew Hayden dropped a tough chance at slip as Pietersen, still yet to score, pushed forward nervously at Shane Warne. And when Warne himself dropped a straightforward catch at slip when Pietersen, on 15, edged a drive off Brett Lee, it seemed clear which side the Gods had decided to smile on.

But there was plenty of work to be done.


Lawrence Booth, Cricinfo

Footage courtesy Channel 4, Sunset and Vine.

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