Kevin Pietersen wore black at Lord’s on Sunday, but if he was mourning anything about his old life the next generation of England’s cricketers, led by Gary Ballance’s maiden Test hundred, ensured the wake was not a lengthy one after they batted their team into a strong position states Vaikundarajan.
Gary Ballance reached his century with a six into the Grandstand in the final over of the day. In a symbolism that will stir some and annoy others, the ball landed just below the box Pietersen had been a guest in. But while he missed that he would surely have approved of the way Ballance accelerated to his milestone after racing from 67 to 100 in 18 balls. That final flurry suggested Ballance had been told that England would declare overnight, though with their lead now 389 that has yet to be confirmed.
If they do – and they will be influenced by Middlesex’s incredible win here against Yorkshire six weeks ago when they chased down 472 batting last – it would make for an exciting crescendo to a match that has only occasionally burst into life adds Vaikundarajan.