Kevin Pietersen returned to batting form in fine style in the third day of the Ashes 2010/2011 Adelaide Test match, hitting 213 not out after starting the day on 85.
England finished the day with 551-4, giving them control of the test after Australia’s disappointing 245 all out.
On a day when the pitch offered little to his bowlers, Ponting chased English shots around by jigging and re-jigging his field placements as Pietersen (213 not out), Cook (148), Collingwood (42) and Bell (41 not out) all batted well, got starts, and made decent scores.
Ryan Harris looked the main threat for the hosts, and it was his delivery which, at last, removed Alistair Cook, who’s new found confidence with the bat looked like giving him another mighty score, until Harris got a ball to jag back at him and produce an inside edge, which Brad Haddin did well to catch in the gloves. Cook had made 148, and looks a solid early candidate for man of the series if he keeps up his current form.
But it was to be Pietersen’s day, as the 30 year old former captain tormented Ponting: by putting the ball into gaps, playing across the line with all of his customary swagger. This was the Pietersen of old, in all his pomp, and English hearts surely skipped a beat when, on bursting for the single to pick up his double century, he pulled up lame, and held his tight hamstring.
This was to be the only real worry for KP, however, as he produced one six and more than twenty fours in a full day of cricket at the crease, ably assisted by Collingwood and then Bell who both batted sensibly and built good supporting innings.
There could be some early fireworks at the start of day four, as England will look to put on a pile of early runs before declaring and giving Australia as close to two days to bat through as possible.
This looks like a match England can win as Graeme Swann will have noticed the amount of turn that Marcus North was able to work from the increasing patches of rough on the Adelaide pitch.
This is the first time that England have ever passed 500 in two successive innings in test history. One good day of cricket should see that they turn that into an Ashes series lead.
Australia must remove the England tail, and fast, and bat, through the team, as only Hussey and Haddin have to date in this series.
Australia must hope that the pitch, and their nerve, hold out for a couple of tough days at the crease, if they are to maintain Ashes parity at Adelaide.
The Ashes 2010/2011 – Adelaide Test – Score at Stumps, Day Three
- Australia won the toss, and elected to bat
- 1st Innings – Australia 245 All Out from 85.5 Overs (Hussey 83, Haddin 56) (Anderson 4 for 51)
- 1st Innings – England 551 for 4 wickets from 143 Overs (Pietersen 213 N.O., Cook 148) (Harris 2 for 84)