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PIETERSEN ROLLS BACK THE YEARS IN MELBOURNE DERBY

Former England international hit a rapid half-century and took a stunning catch for the Stars against the Renegades

Kevin Pietersen might be getting ready to quit cricket for good but the former England captain showed he still has the capacity to change a game with a dazzling display in the Big Bash Melbourne derby.

Pietersen hit a quickfire 74 before holding onto an excellent diving catch in the field as his Stars team beat the Renegades by 23 runs at the Etihad Stadium.

For a man who just days before said he was "done and dusted" with his playing days, it was a timely reminder of the technical flair which brought him more than 13,500 international runs for England across cricket's three formats.

Kevin Pietersen celebrates taking an excellent catch for Melbourne Stars

Pietersen smashed four boundaries and five maximums in his 46-ball knock, as the Stars accumulated 167 for four from their 20 overs.

He shared in a second-wicket partnership of 110 with Peter Handscomb, who made 41, before holing out to Matt Short off the bowling of Jack Wildermuth. With five and a half overs of the innings remaining at the time of his dismissal, Pietersen had been well placed for what would have been his fourth T20 century.

After Glenn Maxwell's destructive cameo had taken the Stars to a respectable total, Pietersen played an active part in the field.

Having dropped an earlier chance, the ex-England skipper produced a superb diving take, flying through the air to his right at cover, to get rid of Tom Cooper for a run-a-ball 19.

Last week, Pietersen revealed how he felt ready to call time on his playing days.

He said: "You come to the end of your time and you get to a time in your career where you just think, 'Do I want this?'.

"I want this desperately at the moment, but I don't think I'll want it in 10 months' time."

The Renegades were eventually limited to 144 for nine, as Maxwell claimed four catches of his own.

The allrounder, who has been snubbed by Australia for the upcoming one-day international series against England, pulled off an incredible grab at point to snare Tim Ludeman.

A total of 44,316 fans were crammed inside the Etihad Stadium to see Maxwell and Pietersen shine - the highest ever cricket crowd at the ground.

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