Kevin Pietersen struck a 35-ball 52 to register only the third fifty of his T20 Blast career as Surrey edged Essex by 10 runs on Wednesday.
Pietersen, making his first appearance in England domestic cricket in almost two years, strode to the wicket in the fifth over with the hosts on 40-1. He opened his boundary account by reverse-hitting Simon Harmer for four in the seventh over.
The destructive right-hander was handed a reprieve after Dan Lawrence grassed a chance at deep mid-wicket when he had just 12. He took full advantage of the lifeline in the 11th over, Harmer once again on the receiving end.
He smashed the former Proteas spinner for a pair of sixes to begin the 11th over before closing out the over in the same fashion. His quick-fire knock, which featured a four and five sixes, pushed his side to a match-winning total of 150.
Watch KP strike his first T20 Blast 50 since 2004:
VIDEO: Surrey County Cricket Club
Pietersen is one of the marquee players in the inaugural T20 Global League in South Africa, and this innings will undoubtedly increase the amount of money franchise owners are willing to fork out for him.
Pietersen also hinted at the possibility of playing for South Africa at the 2019 World Cup.
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Photo: Nick Wood/Getty Images