Kevin Pietersen scored 115 to fire England into a commanding position after early losses at Trent Bridge.

A partnership of 161 with Tim Ambrose helped England to 273-7 having been 86-5 after Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell went for nought.

“We were staring down the barrel and this is the time when I like to stand up for England,” said Pietersen

“I scored a hundred in Napier when we were 30-4 and I’ve scored a few hundreds when England have been down in the dumps and it’s something that I pride myself on.

“I’ve scored loads of runs here for Nottinghamshire but none for England so it’s pretty special.

“Tim is like me, he’s pretty chilled so we stayed relaxed and had some fun.

“To go from 86-5 and finish on 273-7 is a special day and the par for County Cricket on this ground this season has been 214 so we’re well ahead.”

Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson will resume in front of a sell-out crowd at 11.00am.