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The Second Test between England and South Africa at Headingley ended yesterday in a draw. The fact that England were in a position to mount a challenge on the final day of this rain affected second test match owed everything to an outstanding performance from England’s premier South African-born batsman, Kevin Pieterson. His 149 came at a crucial time for a team that had been trounced in the first test and who were looking down the barrel in their first innings reply to South Africa’s 419. He took apart the bowling with an arrogance and skill that put him in the same league as David Gower, Viv Richards and Javed Miandad. This was not slogging, (ala Ian Botham 149 not out v Australia, 1981)  but a controlled demolition of an oppostion line-up that many observers regard as the best seam attack in the world.

There was audacity here, as well as well incredible grace.

You could not guess what he would do next.

No one can teach you that in a coaching manual.

It’s what you call raw talent.

That England go into the third test with a chance of squaring the series owes it all to Kevin Pieterson striking 149 at Headingley.