Vaughan - KP ready to roar

England captain pleased with build-up to Test series in Sri Lanka

Last Updated: 28/11/07 8:41pm

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Vaughan: in good spirits

Vaughan: in good spirits

Sky Bet

Kevin Pietersen's return to form capped a successful build-up to the Test series in Sri Lanka, says England captain Michael Vaughan.

Pietersen got his first score of the tour with a half-century on the final day of the warm-up match against the SLC Board President's XI at the Nondescripts CC in Colombo.

His innings of 59 helped England chase down a target of 246 to secure a morale-boosting win ahead of the first Test, which starts on Saturday in Kandy.

"I think he wanted some time in the middle because he'd had a couple of low scores," said Vaughan.

"So he wanted to occupy the crease and then towards the end of his innings we saw the old Kevin Pietersen coming back with his flamboyant strokes.

"It was a pretty good sight for the team."

Tough call

England have some difficult selection decisions to make for the first Test after Ravinder Bopara pressed his claims for a place in the starting XI with a strong performance against the SLC Board President's XI.

Bopara impressed with both bat and ball, top-scoring in the first innings and taking two wickets when pressed into emergency new ball duty in the second innings.

The Essex all-rounder appears to be in a straight fight with Owais Shah for the sixth batting spot in Kandy.

"Ravi has had a good start to the trip and is an exciting cricketer," added Vaughan.

"He gets a bit of zip off the pitch and in the first innings when the wicket was playing at its flattest, he beat the bat on a number of occasions and reverse swung the ball.

"Darren Gough goes on about him all the time, saying he's a good bowler, so maybe we should use him more often.

"But Ace (Shah) was out there at the end, time in the middle will have been invaluable for him.

"The final XI was always going to be a tough one and I guess that number six position is going to be a tough call, whichever way we go."

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