Kevin Pietersen fails to heed Ravi Bopara's warning as Essex get the better of Surrey in T20 Blast (From Thurrock Gazette)
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Kevin Pietersen fails to heed Ravi Bopara's warning as Essex get the better of Surrey in T20 Blast
10:17pm Friday 6th June 2014 in Sport
Kevin Pietersen failed to heed Ravi Bopara's warning as his return to English cricket yielded five runs and Surrey were subjected to a five-wicket NatWest T20 Blast defeat by Essex.
All eyes were on Pietersen at the Kia Oval for his first outing on home soil since his acrimonious parting of the ways with the national side, but the fireworks never started.
He was teased by former England team-mate Bopara on Twitter earlier in the day, with the all-rounder telling him "don't let me get you out".
That was just what happened, though, as Pietersen tried to put Bopara over the long-on rope but only found the hands of Ryan ten Doeschate for five.
His poor knock came amid a Surrey total of 151 for six, underpinned largely by Jason Roy's 57 and Gary Wilson's 45.
Essex made comfortable work of the chase, thanks largely to a thrilling base laid down by Jesse Ryder.
Jesse Ryder smashes a four
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.
Westley's knock was a measured one from 38 balls, ended when Azhar Mahmood cleaned him up, while Bopara added a quick 15.
Essex were always in control of their pursuit and, even though Ben Foakes was run out, Ten Doeschate was more than good enough with the 32 balls he was delivered to see things through.
Ryan ten Doeschate was back for Essex
Earlier in the match, Pietersen had failed to shine when placed at centre stage.
He 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 walking back to a different kind of noise.
He nudged his way along to five before trying to go big to Bopara. Ten Doeschate took a great catch on the fly.
With Hashim Amla having gone for nine before him, he departed to bring Wilson to the crease and he and Roy added 51 for the third wicket before the former fell to the Bopara and Ten Doeschate combination.
After that it was a case of add as many as they could, with Steven Davies and O'Brien going for a duck and Mahmood making an unbeaten 17.
The total would prove to be too low, though.
Mark Pettini is run out