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Page last updated at 22:23 GMT, Sunday, 25 January 2009

Pietersen smashes England century

Tour match: St Kitts & Nevis Invitational XI v England
Date: 25-27 January (play starts at 1400 GMT each day)
Coverage: Score updates at end of each session, plus reports
Match scorecard

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Former England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen says he has no regrets about his role in the saga that led to his exit as skipper

Kevin Pietersen smashed a century as England reached 424-8 on the opening day of their Caribbean tour.

The former England captain hit 103 off 107 balls before being stumped in England's three-day practice game against St Kitts & Nevis.

New skipper Andrew Strauss was dismissed for a second-ball duck before Pietersen and Owais Shah (125 not out) gave England a healthy start.

But Andrew Flintoff withdrew after feeling discomfort in his left side.

The all-rounder, who picked up the strain in the nets, only managed 11 runs batting at number six and will be replaced by Stuart Broad for the rest of the match.

Pietersen showed no signs that the rift with former coach Peter Moores, which led to him resigning as England captain, had affected his batting.

The England talisman hit a blistering 90-ball hundred before he sacrificed himself.

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Watch Strauss getting out for a duck

Having drilled a full toss down the ground for his 13th four - he also struck three sixes - Pietersen walked past a short, wide delivery from leg-spinner Akito Willett under instruction from the dressing room.

"What happened to me for a couple of weeks really, really hurt me," said Pietersen.

"I have just got to really and truly get back to doing what I love, and when I cross over the white line, that is what I love.

"I love training, I love batting and I love scoring runs for England.

"It has been difficult but I am OK now, I would like a few questions answered first for everything to be gone but time is healing."

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Strauss won the toss but soon lost his wicket to a bouncy Calvin Williams delivery which looped off the shoulder of the bat to Junie Mitchum at third slip.

After losing Strauss, England rarely struggled against an inexperienced pace attack on a placid surface but Willett's introduction quickly changed things around.

Ian Bell, under pressure from Shah for a place in the opening Test in Jamaica, was caught for 36 after he drove hard at Willett's second delivery of the day.

Alastair Cook (52) went soon after, having made the tour's first half-century off 67 balls including seven fours, when he was tempted into driving Willett's perfectly pitched delivery which spun through the gate.

But the fourth-wicket partnership between Shah and Pietersen was worth 158 runs, and could be an ominous sign for Bell with the pair quickly asserting England's authority.

Flintoff came to the crease next but having been dropped once, he failed to take advantage of the let-off and was held comfortably at deep mid-on from spinner Steve Liburd's delivery.

Matt Prior and Adil Rashid perished to Willett, who took five wickets in total, but Durham fast bowler Steve Harmison hit 58 before falling in the final over.

After this match, England play West Indies A on Thursday before the first Test in Jamaica starts on 4 February.


St Kitts & Nevis Invitation XI: S Jefferson (capt), J Simmonds, K Tyson, S Liburd, J A Mitchum, C Rogers, E Powell, T Ward, A Willett, C Williams, N Boland.

England: A J Strauss (capt), A N Cook, I R Bell, K P Pietersen, O A Shah, A Flintoff, M J Prior (wkt), A U Rashid, S J Harmison, J M Anderson, M S Panesar.

Umpires: L Kelly and W Mitchum

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see also
Strauss backs Pietersen to shine
18 Jan 09 |  England
Richards handed Windies call-up
23 Jan 09 |  West Indies
Strauss to lead West Indies tour
07 Jan 09 |  England
Vaughan misses out on tour place
29 Dec 08 |  England
West Indies confirm England visit
03 Dec 08 |  West Indies
England in West Indies 2009
29 Dec 08 |  England


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