It wasn't meant to be - Pietersen

England v West Indies

Watch Kevin Pietersen talk to the media after he fell just three runs short of a century

Kevin Pietersen insisted he had no regrets despite falling three short of a hundred on his return to the England ranks.

The former skipper, playing his first Test since resigning the captaincy, perished attempting to hit the boundary which would have taken him to his century.

It was the second time in six months he had fallen in such circumsances - he did likewise against South Africa at Edgbaston last summer - as England closed the first day of the Test series against West Indies on 236 for five at Sabina Park.

But, having dug England out of a hole, Pietersen said: "It's the way I play. I got to 97 playing that way, so it just wasn't meant to be. No drama.

“I’ve been criticised a lot for the way I play and it’s the way it is.

"I love scoring runs; I love playing for England. If someone had said to me a month ago when it was all kicking off that I would get 97 I would have been a very happy boy."

The slowness of the surface inhibited the kind of strokeplay Pietersen is renowned for, but he had just got into his stride, hitting two fours and a six off successive balls, when an attempt at a fourth consecutive boundary left England on 180 for five.

"You can't play as nicely as you would expect to on a day one Test wicket," Pietersen reflected. "But given how slow the outfield is we are in a pretty good position here.

Sulieman Benn

Sulieman Benn during a 33-over spell which got under way long before lunch and earned him 2-64

"Losing five wickets and knowing we are not going to bat last on this wicket is pretty positive."

Giant left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn claimed Pietersen's scalp in the 27th over of a marathon 33-over spell spanning three sessions.

He was bowling in tandem with fellow spinner Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, before lunch.

"It was pretty tricky," Pietersen admitted. "But then you come to the West Indies expecting a barrage, so to be facing spin from both ends is not a bad thing.

"On that wicket you have to play the situation and that's what I've done in the last couple of years of my career.

"I was as forceful and as dominant as I could have been on that wicket.

"I like to score runs - I don't like to block all day - and I went for him because I thought that would probably be his last over."

Benn, who also accounted for Paul Collingwood en route to figures of 2-64 at the close, said of Pietersen's dismissal: "I don't really pay much attention to who I get out but getting Pietersen is obviously up there.

"When we saw how slow the pitch was we decided spin was going to play a big part and as a spinner out here in the Caribbean I am used to bowling long spells."

Follow on Facebook


Become a member of the official fan community of England cricket on Facebook right now - and get your opinions heard!

Get our free apps

Apps Promo

Download the ECB Cricket app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Nokia phones and get live scores, news, video and other services on the move