Pakistan in England / News

England v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Headingley, 1st day

Pietersen ready to resume after cramps

Andrew Miller at Headingley

August 4, 2006

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Kevin Pietersen is fit to pick up where he left off© Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen was adamant that he would be fit to resume his innings on the second day of the third Test between England and Pakistan at Headingley, after retiring hurt with cramp shortly after recording his fifth Test century.

"I'm facing the first ball tomorrow unless something drastic happens to me this evening," Pietersen confirmed, after the late dismissal of Matthew Hoggard left England handily placed on 347 for 6 at stumps. "I was [scheduled to go] in before Hoggard and after [Chris] Read," he added, "but then we used the nightwatchman for the last five overs."

Pietersen enjoyed a charmed life in his innings, surviving a clear-cut appeal for caught-behind on 2 followed by a dismissal off a no-ball, and then, on the stroke of his eventual retirement, he was dropped at midwicket by Salman Butt.

"It did inconvenience me because that's why I came off the field," explained Pietersen, who had called for treatment on his forearm three times in a single over as he raced through the 90s with a series of typically bombastic shots. "Instinct and adrenalin took over," he added, "but after each shot, [my forearm] would freeze into a certain position. It wasn't fun and it's certainly never happened before."

"I couldn't grip the bat as well as I should have done," he continued. "I had some treatment but I had to come off. I've had it needled and massaged and hopefully with some rest and more treatment, I'll be able to face the first ball tomorrow."

Pietersen was satisfied with his performance in typically tough, overcast conditions at Headingley. "I was happy to get out there and play," he said. "Other batsmen have been fantastic this series, so it's nice to get another hundred. I'm really satisfied with this one, especially after getting 20,30, 40 in my last innings. Hopefully, if Ian [Bell] and I can bat for an hour or more in the first session, we can get a score in excess of 400."

"That's the first time I've ever suffered with cramps in my life," claimed Pietersen. "I think the problem today was that I didn't have lunch, I don't generally eat when I'm batting, and I had breakfast at 8am. It's probably just my salt levels, because my fluids were perfect and my urine was crystal clear."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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