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Record viewers for Ashes climax

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Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen's century helped pull in the viewers

More than seven million cricket fans watched England’s Ashes triumph - giving Channel 4 its best ever day.

The audience peaked at 7.4 million during the closing minutes of the match between 6pm and 6.15pm.

More than half of all TV viewers were tuned in at 4pm to see Kevin Pietersen reach his spectacular century.

The viewing figures made Channel 4 the most watched channel of the day for the first time in its history.

Channel 4 director of television Kevin Lygo said: “We are delighted to see cricket restored to national popularity once more.

“Yesterday’s result is a wonderful payback on our six years of investment in the sport. The production team and the outstanding commentary team, guided by the master Richie Benaud, must take huge credit for having helped reinvigorate cricket coverage.”

The previous biggest day for Channel 4 was in July 2002, the day of the Big Brother 3 final.

The Ashes marked the end of Channel 4’s cricket coverage, with Sky taking over the rights to broadcast the Tests until 2009.

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