Pietersen, Strauss in form ahead of first Test against Proteas

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East London, Dec 12(ANI): England batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss sought some time at the crease ahead of the first Test and scored heavily on day one of two in a warm up match against the South Africa Invitational XI at Buffalo Park.

Pietersen scored 71 runs, his first half-century since his comeback from injury, while Strauss made 100, followed by Alastair Cook (52) and Jonathan Trott (50) in the team's total of 317 for five declared.

The star batsman was suffering from an Achilles injury, which had ept him out of the squad for four months.

Highlighting the significance of Pietersen's innings, England's team director Andy Flower, said: "Kevin's innings was probably the most pleasing aspect of the day because the other guys have been playing recently and in the runs."

"Kevin has been out of cricket and not scoring heavily so him getting in and getting that time in the middle was vital for him," The Daily Express quoted Flower, as saying.

Pietersen's 71 off 101 balls runs included a dozen fours and was a determined effort to get some batting under his belt.

On the other hand, Strauss was also looking for time in the middle and shared an opening stand of 101 runs with Cook, and then one of 68 runs with a strangely subdued Trott.

The four Test series between England and South Africa begins in Centurion on Wednesday. (ANI)

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