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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 06:58 GMT
Pietersen hits ton in Sydney draw
Tour match, Sydney, day three of three: New South Wales 355-9 dec & 194-6 v England 349

Kevin Pietersen celebrates his century in Sydney
Pietersen's form is a boost ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane
Kevin Pietersen's century and three wickets for James Anderson were the highlights for England as they drew a three-day game with New South Wales.

Pietersen moved from 80 to 122 as the tourists made 349, to trail by six.

The game was drifting when Simon Katich and Michael Clarke then put on 114 for the third wicket before Anderson's burst, which saw him finish with 3-40.

England now have another three-day game against South Australia before the first Ashes Test on 23 November.

After the embarrassing 166-run defeat by a Prime Minister's XI on Friday, the tourists will move on to Adelaide with confidence after several encouraging performances at the SCG.

I am pleasantly surprised to be in with a chance of playing in the Ashes

James Anderson

Skipper Andrew Flintoff added 14 to his overnight 48, including a six over long-on off spinner Nathan Hauritz, to become the fourth England batsman to make a half century in this game.

He put on 116 with Pietersen before playing on to Stuart Clark and that was the prelude to a disappointing effort from the lower order, the main downside of an otherwise good workout.

Paul Collingwood was snapped up at silly mid-off by Jaques off Hauritz for just five, while wicket-keeper Geraint Jones and Ashley Giles mustered only 22 runs between them.

Glenn McGrath bowled Jones with a delivery which nipped back in and kept low, Lee uprooted Giles' middle-stump and Nathan Bracken cleaned up Steve Harmison.

James Anderson celebrates dismissing Aaron O'Brien with Sajid Mahmood
Anderson was on a hat-trick at one stage of his fine performance

Before that, Pietersen became England's first centurion on tour and lifted the cloud which had hung over him after some struggles recently, particularly against short-pitched bowling.

He overcame some nervy moments on 99 before picking up a flurry of boundaries - including three off one over from McGrath - until he mis-timed a drive off Bracken to Lee at mid-on.

When the hosts batted again, Phil Jaques failed to build on his two centuries in three days against the touring overs when Sajid Mahmood ran him out for four as he attempted a risky single.

606: DEBATE
Gary

The other negative for England was several fielding errors, the first of which saw Katich (55) dropped by Anderson at square-leg from the first ball after lunch.

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar then missed out on two wickets, Jones squandering a stumping chance when Clarke (68) was on 47 and Andrew Strauss fumbling a chance at slip before Aaron O'Brien had scored.

But Anderson finished positively and was on a hat-trick when Strauss held on to remove O'Brien and Daniel Smith was bowled first ball.

The seamer also trapped Moises Henriques lbw to finish with five wickets in the game and justify coach Duncan Fletcher's positive words about him on Sunday.

ENGLAND PLAYER PROFILES

 

AUSTRALIA PLAYER PROFILES

 

SEE ALSO
Pietersen and England find form
13 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
State side punish rusty England
12 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
In-form Aussie unlikely for Tests
12 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
Ashes venues - Sydney
27 Oct 06 |  The Ashes
BBC Ashes coverage 2006/07
01 Nov 06 |  The Ashes
BBC Ashes archive
02 Nov 06 |  Classic Ashes
England in Australia 2006/07
15 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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