Kevin Pietersen recently scored a half-century for Surrey © Getty Images
Kevin Pietersen recently scored a half-century for Surrey © Getty Images

Surrey captain Gareth Batty hailed Kevin Pietersen as a “true professional” after the former England skipper struck a brisk unbeaten fifty against Glamorgan in the County Championship on Wednesday. South Africa-born batsman Pietersen has not played for England since controversially being axed last year following the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia. Kevin Pietersen slams crucial half-century for Surrey vs Glamorgan

But the 34-year-old has repeatedly insisted he wants to force his way back into the international set-up and has been told by incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves that he has a chance if he scores enough Championship runs. Pietersen, who has re-signed with Surrey rather than play in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League, recently set tongues wagging with an innings of 170, albeit in a match against Oxford students that wasn’t a first-class fixture. Kevin Pietersen is ‘flattered’ by Steve Waugh criticism

His return to Championship action for the first time since June 2013 was rather less dramatic, with Pietersen out for 19 on Sunday in Surrey’s first innings at Glamorgan’s Cardiff headquarters. But on Wednesday he made 53 not out off 70 balls, including four fours, before Surrey declared their second innings on 207 for four, leaving Glamorgan an unlikely 352 from a minimum of 57 overs to win this Second Division fixture on the fourth and final day. Kumar Sangakkara calls Kevin Pietersen an ‘absolute match-winner’

The match eventually petered out into a draw, Glamorgan 116 without loss at stumps, but afterwards Batty said of Pietersen: “I thought he played really well. He played like a true professional and the wonderful player he is. “He has been magnificent. He has been trying to give everything, be it getting runs or in the field.” Kevin Pietersen does not deserve a place in England team, says Steve Waugh

But however well Pietersen bats for Surrey, he is also going to need at least one of the England top-order trio of Ian Bell, Gary Ballance and Joe Root, all taking part in the ongoing second Test against the West Indies in Grenada after scoring runs in the series opener, to lose form if he is to regain his England place. Kumar Sangakkara shines for Surrey as Kevin Pietersen fails

Elsewhere, ex-England seamer Ajmal Shahzad’s first five-wicket haul since 2011 inspired Sussex to a 61-run win over Worcestershire in their First Division clash.

The visitors started the last day on 47 without loss, needing 200 more for victory, but were dismissed for 185 with Shahzad taking five for 46 in his first match at Sussex’s Hove headquarters since his pre-season move from Nottinghamshire.  Zimbabwe’s Kyle Jarvis was also in the wickets, taking five for 13 as Lancashire thrashed Derbyshire by 250 runs. Kevin Pietersen dismissed for 19 in first County Championship 2015 match for Surrey

The fast-medium bowler was the chief figure in a collapse that saw the hosts dismissed for 114 in their second innings at Derby. Nottinghamshire batted out the last day at Trent Bridge to secure a draw with champions Yorkshire, while Warwickshire’s Varun Chopra made 119 against Hampshire at Edgbaston as the day’s other First Division match also ended in stalemate.