C365 Player of the Week

Blog Opinion

At the risk of drowning our readers in a multitude of KP-related articles, we thought we'd give this installment of Player of the Week to England fast bowler Stuart Broad, after his thrilling five-fer on day five at Headingley.

At the risk of drowning our readers in a multitude of KP-related articles, we thought we'd give this installment of Player of the Week to England fast bowler Stuart Broad, after his thrilling five-fer on day five at Headingley.

But alas, we cannot ignore Pietersen's superb, exciting, boldly outlandish century against South Africa, not to mention his four wickets, no matter how hard we try, so KP, here are some more column inches dedicate to you.

The second Test in Leeds may have ended in a draw, but it was not for want of trying on Pietersen's behalf. England were chasing South Africa's 419 first innings score, and they were two wickets down for 85 runs on day three. He came to join Jonathan Trott in the middle and it was immediately obvious that fireworks were looming.

He started off slowly, warming to his task, scoring at a regular but unremarkable pace. Trott went by the wayside, as did Ian Bell, and suddenly the 6ft4in batsman was joined by debutant James Taylor, a foot shorter than his senior partner.

Then the pyrotechnics began. When someone hits the world's premier bowler in Dale Steyn all around a park, including a drive straight back over Steyn's head that almost decapitated him, a captain pays attention.

Graeme Smith, certainly not a paid-up member of the KP fan club, tried everything to get his former countryman. He got his bowlers to dig it in short, and KP swatted everything away to the fence, he drove fuller deliveries down the ground, off the front and back foot.

By the time he reached his century, he'd hit 15 boundaries in the partnership with Taylor alone, and by the end of his knock of 149 (off 214 balls), he had 22 fours and a six (over Steyn's head) to his name. The ball was ruined, the bowlers' figures were ruined, the thrilled commentators' pants were ruined.

Let us not forget KP's bowling figures for the match. Before bowling in Leeds, he had taken five Test wickets, at the close he'd taken nine, including Jacques Rudolph (twice), Smith and Hashim Amla. The Proteas top order will forever be horrified that the dibbly-dobbly part-time spin of Kevin Pietersen got their wickets.

So, just in case this is the last time we get to give KP our coveted award (if he retires after the next Test, as he's threatening to do), here it is. Well done to the boy from Pietermaritzburg who continues to irritate, bludgeon and laugh in the face of the South African team.

<b>Lindsay du Plessis</b>

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