Pietersen’s comeback washed out

AFP, LONDON

Sat, Jun 29, 2013 - Page 18

Kevin Pietersen’s return to England duty saw him fail to take any part in a washed-out Twenty20 match at The Oval on Thursday that gave New Zealand a 1-0 series win.

Only two balls had been bowled, with England 2-1, when rain stopped play after Michael Lumb was caught at second slip by New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum off left-arm quick Mitchell McClenaghan.

Rain prevented all further attempts at a re-start, with officials seeing plans for a six-overs-per-side match starting at 9.03pm local time thwarted by a fresh downpour.

The no-result, in what was the final match of their tour, gave New Zealand the two-match series 1-0 after their five-run win at The Oval on Tuesday and followed their 2-1 one-day series success.

However, England took the preceding Test series 2-0.

England made two changes from the side that lost the first of this two-match series by five runs at The Oval on Tuesday.

Pietersen was included in an England side for the first time following a knee injury that forced his early exit from the tour of New Zealand in March.

The former England captain was sidelined from all cricket until making a superb unbeaten 177 for Surrey in a County Championship match last weekend.

However, he took no active part on Thursday and will now turn his attention to England’s Ashes four-day warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford starting tomorrow.

England begin the defense of the Ashes against Australia at Trent Bridge on July 10.

Pietersen replaced stand-in captain Eoin Morgan, who led England on Tuesday in the absence of the rested Stuart Broad, after the former Ireland international was ruled out with a right hand injury.

Kent off-spinner James Tredwell captained England for the first time, but had still to lead the side in the field after losing the toss.

Left-arm spinner Danny Briggs replaced seamer Chris Woakes, whose one over on Tuesday cost 19 runs.