x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pietersen adds to Australia's agony with double ton

An unbeaten 213, his first hundred in 28 innings, allows England to consider early declaration on third day of the second Ashes Test with rain cutting into play time.

Kevin Pietersen celebrated reaching his double century after going without one in 27 innings in the second Ashes Test match.
Kevin Pietersen celebrated reaching his double century after going without one in 27 innings in the second Ashes Test match.

Kevin Pietersen scored a double century for the second time in his Test career as England reached 551 for four at stumps Sunday to take a commanding 306-run lead against Australia on the third day of the second Ashes Test.

Play was stopped after tea because of rain. With showers predicted for the next couple of days, England will likely declare before lunch on Monday to prevent Australia from being able to draw the match and take the series into the third Test at Perth level at 0-0.

If England does not declare, Pietersen will resume Monday on 213 not out and Ian Bell on 41.

England, following its 517 for one declared in the second innings of the first Ashes Test at Brisbane, has now passed 500 in consecutive innings for the first time against Australia.

Pietersen, who came to the wicket before tea on Saturday afternoon, had gone 27 Test innings without making a hundred, dating back to March 2009.

Despite a sore hamstring, the South African-born batsman reached his double century with a quick single to mid off and then punched the air and saluted the England fans on the hill at the Adelaide Oval.

Alastair Cook was the first batsman to be dismissed on the second day when he inside-edged Ryan Harris behind to Brad Haddin for 148. The Englishman had gone 1,057 minutes without losing his wicket, going back to his second innings of 235 not out at the drawn first Test in Brisbane. Paul Collingwood fell after lunch out lbw to Shane Watson for 42.

Harris and a tired-looking Watson have been the only bowlers to pose any threat at all for Australia, with Doug Bollinger proving as expensive and wayward as the left-arm quick bowler he replaced, Mitchell Johnson.

Australia's hat-trick hero of the first Test, Peter Siddle, has also struggled, with Pietersen seemingly pulling him to the legside boundary at will.

Spinner Xavier Doherty has figures of 0-120 off 24 overs despite signs of turn in the pitch and looks to be less of a threat than second-string spin option Marcus North.

Australia was all out for 245 in its first innings, with James Anderson taking four for 51. England got off to a terrible start with Andrew Strauss bowled by Bollinger for 1 before Cook and Jonathan Trott (78) began England's impressive response.