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County Championship Division 1
The County Ground, Taunton
Chris Jones made Kevin Pietersen his maiden first-class wicket on a turgid final day of the LV= County Championship match between Somerset and Surrey at Taunton.
The young batsman bowled two overs of off-spin after lunch as the hosts tried to tempt Surrey into setting a total with some declaration bowling and succeeded in having Pietersen caught at short cover for 58.
It was a rare moment of interest as the visitors settled for nine points by batting all day from an overnight 58-0 to close on 305-5 declared.
Arun Harinath scored his second century in consecutive Championship games to end unbeaten on 105 while Pietersen added to his first-innings hundred with 58 off just 40 balls.
Rory Burns had earlier hit nine boundaries in his 60, but as the afternoon wore on there were more strange developments as Alex Barrow took over behind the stumps and Jos Buttler entered the bowling attack.
The result went further towards preserving Surrey's first division status, while Somerset took eight points to leave their hopes of a first title hanging by a slender thread.
Controversy erupted on the third day of the County Championship between Somerset and Surrey at Taunton.
With the hosts on 191-5 in reply 317, Murali Kartik ran out Alex Barrow as he was backing-up and Surrey skipper Gareth Batty declined the opportunity to call the 20-year-old batsman back when umpire Peter Hartley offered it.
While it was a legitimate dismissal, it is considered against the spirit of the game. Kartik and Batty were jeered by the crowd for the remainder of the innings, which saw Somerset bowled out for 294, Peter Trego making a defiant 92, including two sixes off Kartik and 13 fours.
By the close Surrey had reached 58 without loss in their second innings and led by 81 going into the final day.
There were angry scenes beneath the visiting dressing room balcony at tea, with supporters of both teams directing vitriolic comments at Batty and Kartik.
The incident overshadowed a competitive day's cricket, which began 40 minutes late because of a wet outfield and saw Somerset batsmen James Hildreth and Chris Jones bat through the opening session, taking the score from 42-2 to 151-2 at lunch.
Kartik then struck three times early in the afternoon session, earning successful lbw verdicts against Hildreth (85), Jones (50) and Jos Buttler (14).
After the Barrow episode, the player who left Somerset to join Surrey at the end of last season completed figures of four for 70 before Stuart Meaker mopped up the tail to finish with four for 75.
Surrey openers Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari then subdued Somerset fans with an unbroken stand occupying 20 overs, which put their side firmly in the driving seat.
No action was possible on the second day of the match between Somerset and Surrey at Taunton as heavy rain left puddles on the outfield.
Somerset were due to resume on 42-2 in reply to 317 against Surrey, but there was never much prospect of any action.
All the attention focused on Kevin Pietersen following the announcement of England captain Andrew Strauss' retirement from cricket.
However, despite going out on to the pitch in pouring rain with a couple of team-mates to do some sprints, Pietersen rejected all requests for interviews.
Kevin Pietersen smashed an imperious 163 in just 168 balls for Surrey on the opening day of the LV= County Championship clash with Somerset at Taunton.
Batting for a minute short of four hours, Pietersen struck 20 fours and three sixes in recording his 45th first-class century.
The next highest score in Surrey's innings of 317 all out was Zander de Bruyn's 34. Sajid Mahmood, on loan from Lancashire, claimed 4-62, striking Pietersen a painful blow on the left had towards the end of his innings.
That prevented Pietersen taking the field as Somerset plunged into trouble in reply, losing openers Arul Suppiah and Marcus Trescothick with only 16 on the board, before closing on 42-2.
Surrey had looked in a spot of bother themselves at 44-2 after winning the toss when Pietersen strode to the crease to a warm ovation from a Taunton crowd basking in warm sunshine.
He endured a sticky start, with two close lbw shouts and a couple of false shots, before emerging to reach his half-century off 66 balls, with seven fours.
From then on Pietersen simply grew in stature, making batting look easy on a re-laid wicket that produced variable bounce and offered some turn for George Dockrell.
He was 119 not out at tea, which was taken with Surrey 240 for five, and brought up the 250 with a towering six off Dockrell into the River Tone, having straight driven the previous delivery for four.
Former Somerset player de Bruyn, Gary Wilson (27) and Murali Kartik (23 not out) provided valuable support, Kartik sharing a last-wicket stand of 32 that ensured a third batting point before Pietersen finally fell to a catch at the
wicket, becoming Mahmood's fourth victim.