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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2007, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Lord's century delights Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen slashes over cover for one of his 14 boundaries
Kevin Pietersen hailed his explosive century in England's second innings in the first Test at Lord's as his best ever knock in first-class cricket.

Pietersen hit 134 off 213 balls, with 14 fours, to rescue England after they had slumped to 132-5 before lunch.

Pietersen said: "I would probably rate that as number one of all my centuries in international or county cricket."

"I play to enjoy myself and to express myself but the most important thing is setting the team up to win a Test."

Pietersen, who celebrated reaching three figures with a clenched fist salute, said: "You could see from my emotions how happy I was because it was a very difficult time for batting last night and this morning.

"I definitely put the team first, but I do like to have fun and I get told to keep doing what I'm doing."

RP Singh
Singh celebrates his five-wicket haul

Pietersen also praised team-mate Monty Panesar after the spinner dismissed key man Sachin Tendulkar for just 16 as India reached 137-3 at the close, chasing a target of 380.

"Monty is a fantastic bowler. Sachin is his big man, the man he looks up to who he's admired since he was a little bowler so it was fantastic for him to get him out again. He looks like he can get a wicket every ball," he said.

India's hero was RP Singh, who took his first five-wicket haul in Test match cricket.

"The plan was to bowl good areas and slip in a couple of bouncers," he said.

"As it happened, two of the wickets came from bouncers, and the rest from good-length balls.

"I have improved my pace, and line and length since I have been in the Indian team. Zaheer Khan is my senior and has been giving me a lot of help in how to bowl in English conditions.

"India have a good chance because Sourav Ganguly and Dinesh Karthik are playing very well. So it's an even game, but we have a good chance."

England extend lead despite rain
21 Jul 07 |  England
Late wickets spoil England's day
19 Jul 07 |  England
India in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket


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