Kevin Pietersen tops run-scoring charts in Big Bash League 2014-15
Following his 67* off 42 balls against Sydney Thunder in a Big Bash League T20 match at the Sydney Showground Stadium on Saturday, out-of-favour England batsman Kevin Pietersen – with 262 runs in 6 innings for Melbourne Stars – has become the tournament’s leading run-getter. Pietersen went past Brisbane Heat’s Chris Lynn, who has 243 runs in 6 matches.
Put into bat first, Thunder never recovered from the blows inflicted by Jackson Bird and Michael Beer in the first four overs that reduced them to 9-3 and could only manage 106 runs on the board. Aiden Blizzard top-scored with a 48-ball 45. Beer, Bird, John Hastings and Clint Mckay took 2 wickets each.
Openers Cameron White and Luke Wright, in reply, failed yet again, but Pietersen’s attacking half-century has all but ensured his team, with 4 wins in 7 matches and only one more league match to be played, a spot in the semi-finals. It has been a remarkable turnaround for Stars, who lost the first three in a row. Thunder, on the other hand, have been eliminated.
The England Cricket Board (ECB) axed Pietersen from the set-up after the Ashes whitewash in 2014 saying that he had become a disruptive influence in the dressing room. The country’s ODI exploits has been on the wane since finishing as the runners-up in the Champions Trophy 2013, leading to Alastair Cook being sacked as captain late last year, with Eoin Morgan taking over the role.
Despite the ECB making its intentions clear that Pietersen’s international career is over, the 34-year-old has been trying to make his way back into the national team. Given his recent form and England’s woes in limited-overs arena, the national selectors’ may live to regret their decision to not include him in the World Cup squad.
The ICC Cricket World Cup begins on February 14 with a double-header that will see hosts Australia and New Zealand locking horns with England and Sri Lanka respectively.
|Kevin Pietersen||Melbourne Stars||6||262||124.17|
|Chris Lynn||Brisbane Heat||8||243||148.17|
|Peter Forrest||Brisbane Heat||6||237||113.39|
|Tim Ludeman||Adelaide Strikers||7||234||150.00|
|Michael Lumb||Sydney Sixers||7||229||125.82|
Note: Stats updated till January 17, 2015