LONDON: Kevin Pietersen suffered a disappointing return to action in English cricket as he scored just five runs for Surrey in their five-wicket defeat against Essex on Friday.
Pietersen’s flop came in a domestic Twenty20 clash at the Oval, where the controversial batsman was playing for the first time on home soil since his acrimonious removal from the England team in the aftermath of the dismal Ashes whitewash in Australia.
To add insult to injury for the South Africa-born star, who was reportedly axed by England due to the breakdown of his relationship with several senior players, he had been teased by former England team-mate Ravi Bopara on Twitter earlier on Friday, with the Essex all-rounder telling him; “Don’t let me get you out”.
That was exactly what happened as Pietersen tried to smash Bopara over the long-on rope but only found the hands of Ryan ten Doeschate for five.
Pietersen walked out to the middle to loud cheers, his seasonal debut having been delayed because of a finger injury suffered playing for Delhi, but was soon heading back to the dressing room.
He nudged his way along to five before trying to go big to Bopara and Ten Doeschate took a great catch on the fly.
Pietersen’s failure left Surrey struggling to a total of 151 for six and Essex made comfortable work of the chase, thanks largely to a thrilling base laid down by Jesse Ryder.
The New Zealander walloped a 16-ball 31 before perishing to Kevin O’Brien.
Ryder hit the first ball for four, the second for six and accounted for all of Essex’s first 25 runs.
Mark Pettini was a junior partner to Ryder and went not long after, run out for 12, but that just allowed Tom Westley (44) and Ten Doeschate (43 not out) to get the job done.