Pietersen delighted as England regain top spot with win over Sri Lanka

England's Kevin Pietersen celebrates his team's victory over Sri Lanka by eight wickets at the end of their second test cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

England's Kevin Pietersen celebrates his team's victory over Sri Lanka by eight wickets at the end of their second test cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

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Batsman Kevin Pietersen was delighted with England’s all-round display as his man-of-the-match display helped his team beat Sri Lanka in the second Test to retain top spot in the world rankings in conditions he branded “a joke”.

Pietersen, who smashed 151 in the first innings, finished things off in Colombo with a quickfire 42 not out to steer England past their victory target of 94, which ensured the two-match series ended in a draw.

“It’s always nice to get some runs,” he said. “It’s been a very tough winter for all the batters.

“But the hard work the boys have put in to bat second and fourth in this Test... We’ve done a fantastic job. All the boys deserve all the credit.

“The hard work, the practice, the hours that I’ve put in, I just thought when you get yourself in and in some sort of nick, you’ve got to try to get it. When it’s 42-43 degrees, I can’t block too many!”

Asked whether the conditions were the toughest he had encountered, he replied: “Definitely. An Ashes tour is very, very tough down under. When we lost 5-0 a few years ago that was tough mentally, but physically this was a joke.”

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