Ton-up Pietersen shines, Strauss slumps

Updated: 26 January 2009 07:45 IST

Kevin Pietersen buried the controversy over his decision to quit as skipper with a blazing 90-ball century on the opening day of the tour of the Windies.

Ton-up Pietersen shines, Strauss slumps

Basseterre:

Kevin Pietersen buried the controversy over his decision to quit as England skipper with a blazing 90-ball century on the opening day of the tour of the West Indies.

In stark contrast, however, his successor as captain, Andrew Strauss, fell without scoring after facing just two balls.

England kicked-off their tour with a three-day game against a St Kitts and Nevis Invitational side yesterday with Pietersen making 103 with 13 fours and three sixes, one of which came off the first ball he faced, before being stumped off leg spinner Akito Willett who went on to take five wickets.

Pietersen put on 158 with Owais Shah for the fourth wicket, but opener Strauss lasted just two balls, falling victim to a catch by second slip Junie Mitchum off Calvin Williams.

By stumps, England, having made the most of Warner Park's short boundaries, reached 424-8.

Shah, competing with Ian Bell for a place in the side for the first Test starting in Jamaica on February 4, finished on 125 not out. Shah is hoping to win a third Test cap, almost three years after his debut against India in Mumbai.

Pietersen said he had no regrets over his decision to relinquish the captaincy after just three Tests in charge. "I can listen to constructive criticism but if it's nonsense I just kick it out," he told the BBC.

"But what really hurt me was to see how upset my family got. I can take it on the field and do the business. I don't mind. But it got to me when my wife and family were affected. "I did everything by the book. I have no regrets. I just want to keep on doing what I love doing and that's scoring runs for England."

England's bright start was clouded, however, by news that star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who made 11, had suffered a side strain and will sit out the rest of this match.

Meanwhile, Alastair Cook, England's vice-captain for the Test series, hit 52, while fast bowler Steve Harmison smashed 58.



Topics : Cricket England Kevin Pietersen Michael Clarke
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