Opener grabs second consecutive century as England end day two with 72-run lead for the loss of just two wickets.
|Pietersen ended a run of 18 Tests without a century in style as Australia laboured in the second Test [GALLO/GETTY]|
Kevin Pietersen replaced Alastair Cook as Australia’s chief tormentor with a majestic double century just before tea as England took a first innings lead of 306 on the third day of the second Ashes Test.
The 30-year-old Pietersen looked hungry for more on 213 not out with Ian Bell on 41 as England moved to 551-4 at the break and it looked like only rain or a declaration could stop him.
In the event, it was the weather that intervened as England were denied the chance to pile on more runs as rain came down during tea and continued into the evening, with proceedings called to a halt until Monday.
Despite a hamstring problem, Pietersen reached the second double century of his career with a sprinted single off spinner Xavier Doherty before dropping to one knee and pumping his fist as England’s “Barmy Army” supporters gave him a huge ovation.
Shane Watson trapped Paul Collingwood lbw for 42 three overs after lunch but otherwise the second session of the day was another two hours of hard labour with scant reward for the Australian bowlers.
Fortunately for the hosts, the temperatures were lower than the 37C they fielded in on Saturday and they did manage to finally remove Cook in the morning for 148.
The left-hander nicked an inside edge which Brad Haddin dived to catch one-handed off the bowling of local quick Ryan Harris to bring an end to 17-and-a-half hours of unbeaten batting since he was dismissed in the first innings of the first Test.
|Day three scorecard|
Australia first innings 245
Pietersen had already secured his first Test century in 18 matches going back to March last year, celebrating the single off Harris with a huge roar and a punch of the air.
After that, he relaxed a little and was soon peppering boundaries around the Adelaide Oval, where he scored 158 in the corresponding Test four years ago.
His double century came off just 283 balls and included 29 fours and one six.
Dropped by England earlier this year for some limited overs matches after a poor run of form, Pietersen had a minor scare when he was on 91 and Australia requested a television review of a refused lbw appeal.
The batsman stood his ground confidently as the television pictures showed Harris’s delivery had hit his pad outside the line of the wickets.
Harris was the pick of the Australian bowlers, who continued to toil on a flat wicket with only the hint of rain in the air offering any prospect of respite.
The tourists declared their first innings on 551 in the Adelaide test four years ago but still conspired to lose by six wickets.