Kevin Pietersen said he was unperturbed by a string of low scores at the start of the 2017 PSL, but was pleased that when he did strike big - with an unbeaten 42-ball 88 - it came in a winning cause. With his knock, Quetta Gladiators beat Lahore Qalandars by five wickets chasing 201 on Saturday.
While explaining the thought process behind his innings, Pietersen also said that he found chasing a big target preferable to smaller ones. "When you're chasing 200, it's a lot easier than 120 because you can set targets," Pietersen said. "When you're chasing 200 you've just got to keep going and going and going. I think understanding the game in terms of making sure you still get yourself in [matters] and that gives you a chance to go on."
Quetta had lost both openers by the fifth over with the score on 24. However, a 57-run partnership for the third wicket between Rilee Rossouw and Pietersen managed to keep the required rate from going too high. Once Rossouw fell, Sarfraz Ahmed and Pietersen added 101 for the fifth wicket, with the Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman contributing 45 off 25 balls. Quetta took 47 off the 17th and 18th overs with Pietersen striking six sixes in that time to decimate Lahore's attack. His entire innings included eight sixes and three fours.
Pietersen's PSL campaign began with 3, 0 and 0 but he wasn't fussed, coming off a successful Big Bash League season with the Melbourne Stars, finishing eighth on the tournament's run charts with 268. "I've come off a Big Bash where I've top-scored, so a couple of low scores don't bother me," Pietersen said. "It bothers a lot of other people talking about the game but it doesn't bother me.
"I do the processes the way that I've always done my processes, and I think about the game the way I've always done it, and if I'm successful, I'm successful. No one deserves success in life, you have got to work for it. You have got to enjoy it and, in life and in sport, you have more bad days than you have good days, and I've just proved that. It doesn't mean I'm going to get runs for the rest of the tournament but it's nice that we've got a victory.
"First ball anyone can get out actually because you're in there and it can happen so quickly. I get cross with myself if I get myself in and then I get out because then I don't think I should get out."
Pietersen recently opted out of IPL 2017, citing a busy winter season. He said he had not reconsidered the decision, given that he is keen to spend more time with his family.
"No mate, I'm done. I'm going to play the next week or so and then I'm done," he said. "I'll think about what I'll do in the summer but at the moment I need to spend time with my family and kids. Cricket is not everything to me. I've got a young family and your family only grows up one. If I'm going to spend two months away from my daughter who is one year old… No, not interested."