No ton no problem for Pietersen

Sri Dharanee Performance Arts Theatre

SOUTHAMPTON, June 18, 2011 (AFP) – Kevin Pietersen insisted he felt “a lot of happiness” despite missing out on a Test century against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl here on Saturday. Pietersen made a fluent 85 to help England to 195 for four at stumps on the third day of the third and final Test, a first innings lead of 11 runs.

But, just eight minutes before the schedule close, he was caught behind to give otherwise struggling medium-pacer Thisara Perera a first Test wicket.

His exit left Pietersen searching for his first Test century in Britain since making exactly 100 against his native South Africa at The Oval in August 2008 — the first match of his brief and ultimately controversial stint as England captain.

But the 30-year-old said of his latest innings: “Actually, it wasn’t frustrating at all. To play the way I’ve played today has given me a lot of happiness.

“To have gone back to basics and hit the ball straight and kept penetrating the opposite stumps, and playing in three or four areas, for me was brilliant.”

Pietersen, who has scored just one hundred in his last 36 Test innings — a Test-best 227 against Australia at Adelaide in December, added: “I