KP buries loss of England captaincy with a telling half-century

Jamaica (West Indies), Feb. 5 : The loss of the England cricket team's captaincy appears not to have dented Kevin Pietersen's form with the bat. KP scored a punishing 97 before falling to Windies spinner Sulieman Benn in the first Test between the two sides.

Pietersen struck Benn for four, four and six in three successive deliveries when he lined up another big blow. This time, however, the ball skied straight up in the air and he was already walking off when it nestled in wicketkeeper Dinesh Ramdin's gloves.

Pietersen had scored more than half of the runs when he was out, so it is impossible to be too critical.

His dismissal was almost a carbon copy of Edgbaston last summer when he hit South African spinner Paul Harris into the hands of long-on attempting the six to take him to a century.

Pietersen was out for 97 here as England finished day one with 236-5.

The Sun quoted him as saying: "That's the way I play. I got to 97 playing that way, the hundred wasn't to be, no drama. There was no adrenalin, I just tried to hit him for six. I went for Benn as he seemed to be tiring and I thought it would be his last over."

"I'm a happy boy tonight because the team is in a pretty good position. Our total is worth around 280 because of the slow outfield. I was as forceful and dominating as I could be because I don't like to block all day," he added.

Pietersen has encountered all sorts of trials and tribulations in the last few weeks.

He proved yet again that, no matter how crushed he was by his dumping as skipper, nothing will affect his expertise with the willow. (ANI)