England v South Africa, 2nd Test, Leeds, 3rd day
Pietersen Ton Lifts England Hopes05-Aug-2012 04:55:00 GMT
Leeds: Kevin Pietersen hit a spectacular century as England reached 351/5 at stumps on Day 3 of the second Test, 68 behind South Africa's first innings total of 419.
Pietersen, dropped on 52, was his majestic best, with 22 fours and a six in a breathtaking 149 from 212 balls.
England lost Alastair Cook (24) before a rain delay, and quick wickets after lunch saw them 246 adrift at 173-4.
But Pietersen added 147 with debutant James Taylor (34) and his brilliance changed the complexion of the match.
The 32-year-old's third Test century against the country of his birth saw him pass 7,000 Test runs and go above captain Andrew Strauss as the eighth highest scoring England batsman in Test cricket.
Until Pietersen cut loose, South Africa had been ahead in a battle of attrition as England struggled to 173 for four at less than three runs an over.
Alastair Cook (24), Andrew Strauss (37) and Jonathan Trott (35) all fell to disciplined bowling after lengthy but not particularly productive stays at the crease.
South Africa 419 (Petersen 182, Smith 52, Broad 3-96)
England 351 for 5 (Pietersen 149*)
Status England trail by 68 runs