Kevin Pietersen had no complaints about the warning he received over ‘switch-hitting’ during his stunning 151 in the Second Test against Sri Lanka, but has warned that umpires must be careful not to penalise attacking batsmen.
Off spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan was unhappy with how early Pietersen was shifting his position and grip and twice aborted his run-up, leading to umpire Asad Rauf officially cautioning him for changing his position at the crease before the bowler’s delivery stride.
Had Pietersen transgressed again, England faced a five-run penalty.
Pietersen’s 20th Test hundred, a masterclass of aggression and timing which contained six 6s and 16 fours to boost England towards 460 all out, a lead of 185 that was reduced by four in the one over that remained.
Alastair Cook fell six short of a hundred whilst Jonathan Trott made 64 but day three belonged to Pietersen.
His 151 came off just 165 balls confirming his statement that he treated it like a one-day innings and even defensive, leg-side fields could not halt him.
He added 94 with Ian Bell in just 19 overs, Bell contributing just 18.
The downside of the day for England was in the final session they failed to kick on and bat into today, thus establishing a daunting lead and there was some frustration at this in the England dressing room.
Samit Patel was last out for 29 but no one else in the bottom seven got to 20. Left arm spinner Herath bagged six wickets.
“We’ve batted ourselves towards a winning position and it should be an interesting fourth day,” said Pietersen.