KP Ashes Memories- Bazball, Clarke wicket, Oval Century & More

Kevin Pietersen has said that England virtually played “Bazball” in their famous test triumph over bitter rivals Australia back in 2005 at Edgbaston.

England had lost the first test at Lord’s by a whopping 239 runs, but turned things around in Birmingham, edging a tightly fought contest by just two runs to level the series.

The hosts, put in by Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, scored at 5.13 per over in their first innings, and Pietersen, in an interview to Betway, said they virtually played Bazball in that game. KP himself made a 76-ball 71 in that innings, and his 103-run stand with Andrew Flintoff was key to England’s massive total of 407.


Flintoff went on to star with both bat and ball in that test, scoring 141 runs across both innings and taking 7 wickets, and the shot of him consoling Australian pacer Brett Lee at the end of the test is one that will forever be remembered in cricket folklore. Pietersen termed the all-rounder’s impact on that series as “spectacular” and said he was the “ringleader”

Pietersen debuted in that Ashes series and took to international cricket like a duck to water, starting off with three fifties in a row. The very first one saw him launch into both Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne at Lord’s, and had it not been for Damien Martyn’s fantastic catch, the lanky batsman might have even managed to give the hosts an unlikely looking first innings lead- they were 21/5 at one stage after Australia had been bundled for 190 batting first. Pietersen’s 57 was more than what the rest of England’s top eight managed between themselves in that innings.

The Natal born batsman also talked fondly about his maiden century- a stunning individual effort at the Oval that helped England win the Ashes. After starting off the series with scores of 57,64 and 71, his returns in the next few innings were more modest- 123 runs across his next six outings.

England were precariously placed at 126/5 in the second innings, with a lead of just six runs, but Pietersen’s blitzkrieg knock of 158, studded with 15 fours and seven sixes, swung the momentum back the hosts’ way. It left Australia too much to get on the final day, and ensured the urn was in English hands, the first of four Ashes victories that KP would be part of.


Pietersen was also proud of his role in England’s triumph Down Under in 2010-11, the first time in over two decades that they had won in Australia. His double century was key to their triumph in Adelaide, and he also picked up the wicket of Michael Clarke with the ball in Australia’s second innings to trigger a collapse for the hosts- they went from 238/3 to 304 all out, giving the visitors an innings victory.

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