Surrey v Essex, NatWest T20, The Oval June 6, 2014

Pietersen fails on return as Surrey lose


Essex 155 for 5 (Westley 44, ten Doeschate 43) beat Surrey (Roy 57, Wilson 45) by six wickets

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Kevin Pietersen was greeted with several boos on his return to cricket in England and did not quell the naysayers with just an eight-ball stay in his first match for Surrey since being sacked by the ECB in February.

An Oval crowd of very few empty seats saw Pietersen make just 5 but Ryan ten Doeschate, who followed Pietersen home from the IPL and was also playing his first county match of the season, lead Essex to victory with 43 in 32 balls for his side's third win in the competition.

Pietersen trotted to the wicket in the final over the Powerplay of the first innings, with the cheers just managing to eclipse the dissenting voices - potentially all from the Essex supporters - but after facing seven balls from left-arm bowlers tried to slap the first he received from a right-armer - Ravi Bopara - and lifted it to long-on where ten Doeschate held a solid catch.

The failure was no great shock. Pietersen's IPL form was ordinary - he averaged just below 30 in 11 matches for Delhi, whom he captained to finish bottom of the table winning only twice in 14 games - and this was a difficult pitch on which to time the ball. The highest score in the last 10 domestic T20s at The Oval is only 155.

But ten Doeschate, who fared worse than Pietersen in the IPL with only 52 runs in seven innings - almost half of those in one knock - found his touch with three boundaries in the 18th over when 21 were needed in 18 balls. It killed the chase that was always under control after a maiden from Azhar Mahmood in the 11th over was followed by boundaries from the final ball of the next three overs.

Their pursuit was given a bright start by Jesse Ryder, whose last visit to The Oval was in the 2009 World T20. He took the opening two balls of the innings for four and six off Robin Petersen before hitting Jade Dernbach's first over for 14, including a brilliantly-timed pick-up shot over midwicket. He blazed 31 in just 15 balls before swinging at Kevin O'Brien and being bowled. Two overs later O'Brien ran out Mark Pettini with a direct hit from backward point.

But Tom Westley, playing just his 12th T20, steered Essex to good effect in the absence of a contribution from Ravi Bopara, caught at deep midwicket for 15. Westley and ten Doeschate added 51 for the fourth wicket to help overshadow Pietersen's return.

Pietersen was forced to begin against Tymal Mills, one of the few genuinely quick bowlers in the country. A push wide of mid-off to his fourth ball got Pietersen off the mark with a single before Tim Phillips, the left-arm spinner, was rather predictably brought back at the other end. Pietersen carefully negotiated two singles and a two but the first ball he faced from Bopara in the next over was lifted straight to long-on.

Bopara also had Roy caught by the same fielder but not before Roy had extended his excellent start to the T20 Blast. To his seventh ball he took one step down the wicket and lifted Matt Salisbury almost into the dressing rooms. More boundaries followed down the ground and there was also a perfectly-executed reverse sweep in his 38-ball fifty.

Surrey needed a second contribution to get above the par score - around 140 in domestic T20s at The Oval - and Gary Wilson provided it with 45 in 38 balls including a slog sweep off Reece Topley into a lively OCS Stand.

Follow Alex Winter on Twitter @winter_cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    How about 'Westley shines as Essex win'.

    I went to the game and Essex clinically destroyed Surrey. You wouldn't think it reading that report.

    Some of the reporting of Surrey and KP is akin to that of Man Utd in the Premiership. Its no wonder they are county cricket's least popular team.

  • Mark on June 8, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    @mose, no cricinfo recycles the KP story for no reason. I am a Nott's fan but am following Essex reports to hear about Mills and Topley only to find a laboured 8 ball innings getting far too much emphasis. I wonder why the Notts Derbyshire game didn't lead with a headline about Taylor failing?

  • Reg on June 7, 2014, 23:11 GMT

    I've been wondering for a while why Ryder doesn't often get a bowl in these games. His performance yesterday against Kent makes it all the stranger.

  • Moe on June 7, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    The reason that it seems that there is a lot of Pieterssn stories is because you guys are still deeply emotionally unsatisfied with what happened. There has never been a resolution and things have just been left out there. Cricinfo publishes a lot of articles but it is not that they are writing more about Pietersen, you are clicking on articles that mention Pietersen and reading them while ignoring other articles about other people.

  • Paulo on June 7, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Also no mention of Jade Dernbach 3 overs for 30. I suppose it's hardly headline news that he's going at 10 an over.

  • Paulo on June 7, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    In other news Tymal Mills returned from injury.

  • Blake on June 7, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    disco_bob & milepost - my thoughts exactly.

    Chris Camping - it's Glenn Maxwell not Gavin Maxwell, lol

  • disco on June 7, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    "... and did not quell the naysayers with just an eight-ball stay..." Had to chuckle at this because one could say with much more conviction about England's recent home ODI series loss in favorable conditions that England have also failed to quell the naysayers who claimed that ending KP's England career was not the way forward.

    KP, as the highest England scorer in the recent Ashes humiliation has nothing to prove. It is the ECB that need to justify their stance with results.

  • Rahul on June 7, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    @ StevieS- Isnt that the same with Sky ? Hyping players soo much before every game,only for them to fall on their faces. Sky tried to sell a six of Maxwell as if he had hit 6 sixes.. "Oh Yeahh.... What a six." with so much exaggeration,when it was his usual hit and miss slog. And then the next ball he got out stupidly as usual. Same with finch,who struggles the moment ball doesn't come onto the bat. Hyped him far too much. And do we know when Flintoff makes his debut,its been cancelled 3 times now ? And they've been hyping his return every single time.I agree International players are important to sell a product,but overdoing it is doing injustice to other players.

    Agree with you, hyping players in general to an unbearable extent to sell stuff. It shifts the focus from the other county players and what actually happened in the game or some important moments. Yes, I like KP,but still think they're overdoing it.

  • Cameron on June 7, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    KP is a county player now so why the headlines? Oh, because he's the best player in England and the ECB are too weak to pick their best team.

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