KP earns plaudits from Surrey skipper


Following his 170 in a non-first-class opener against the students of Oxford MCCU last week, he leaves Cardiff with scores of 19 and 53 not out from his return to the Championship, which represents neither a resounding flop nor a startling success.

What may raise some interest is the ringing endorsement supplied by his county captain, Gareth Batty, of Pietersen's commitment to the Surrey cause with which, Batty said, he could not be more fully engaged.

“He has been nothing but someone trying to give everything, whether it be runs or in the field, he's been the true professional that he is,” Batty said. “He has been magnificent.

“In this match he told me he wanted to field at mid-off so he could talk to the bowlers and have an input into the group,” Batty added.

“At the minute he is very much onside with everything we are about at Surrey and we would be sorry to lose him if England wanted him. I can't speak highly enough of the man.”

Measured against the extraordinary standards Pietersen sets, the half-century, though, was unremarkable, with only four boundaries from 70 balls faced, runs accumulated more from scruffy nudges and scampered singles. Then again, in the circumstances, as Batty pointed out, it was just the innings required from him, facilitating Surrey's progress towards the score at which he planned to declare.

In this case, it was seven overs after lunch, leaving Glamorgan with a target of 352 to win from 57 overs. Somewhat predictably, it all added up to an ending to the contest as flat as the pitch it had been played on. Glamorgan, having got themselves out of jail by avoiding the follow-on, were not inclined to take risks and 10 wickets for the Surrey attack in less than two sessions was never on anyway.

So for Pietersen it is on to The Oval on Sunday, for the visit of Essex, who will be bullish from their win over Kent this week.

Incidentally, if he scores at least two runs in his first innings there, Pietersen will set a record as the fastest player to score 1,000 runs for Surrey, currently held jointly by Mark Ramprakash and Zander de Bruyn, who took 18 innings. He has 998 from 16. – The Independent

Original source: KP earns plaudits from Surrey skipper