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Winter relief for Pietersen

KP deflects praise after man-of-the-match display

Kevin Pietersen: First-innings century proved crucial in second Test

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Kevin Pietersen was delighted to see England's hard work with the bat pay off as his man-of-the-match display helped secure a series-levelling victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Pietersen, who smashed 151 in the first innings, finished things off on the final day 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.

The win also keeps England on top of the world Test rankings, a feat Pietersen believes was especially notable playing in hot and humid conditions he branded "a joke".

"It's always nice to get some runs," he told Sky Sports HD1. "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."