England’s three-day tour match with New South Wales finished in an inevitable draw but Kevin Pietersen marked the final day at the Sydney Cricket Ground with the first century of their Ashes tour.
The Hampshire batsman, who resumed on 80, has scored just one hundred and one half-century in his last 10 Test innings for England but gave the tourists a boost heading into the Ashes series with a timely 122.
England began the day on 256 for four but after a fifth-wicket stand of 116 between Pietersen and captain Andrew Flintoff (62) they were bowled out for 349 after losing their final six wickets for 67 runs.
It looked as though the game might provide an exciting finale when England reduced the hosts to 18 for two shortly after lunch but Simon Katich (55 retired) and Michael Clarke (68) finished the afternoon session with an unbroken 100-run partnership.
James Anderson followed up his two for 45 in the first innings, when New South Wales declared on 355 for nine, by claiming three for 40 as the hosts finished on 194 for six.
Flintoff resumed on 48 and brought up his half-century in the first over before lofting Nathan Hauritz’s fourth ball of the morning over the long-on boundary for six.
Pietersen then got in on the action, hitting Hauritz for successive boundaries in the day’s fourth over but their partnership came to an end three overs later when Flintoff played on to Stuart Clark, who finished with three for 50.
Paul Collingwood (five) was caught soon after at silly mid-off off Hauritz before Pietersen faced Glenn McGrath on 99.
Having endured a few nervy deliveries, including an inswinger that almost got an inside edge, the South-African born batsman guided one down the leg side to bring up a welcome hundred.
With that milestone safely negotiated Pietersen then hit three boundaries off one over from McGrath but Australia Test star came back the next over to bowl Geraint Jones (13).
Nathan Bracken replaced Hauritz and enjoyed immediate success when Pietersen mistimed a drive to give Brett Lee a straightforward catch at mid-on.
Lee came on for McGrath and bowled Ashley Giles (nine) before Bracken removed the leg stump of Steve Harmison (two) to wrap up the innings.
The hosts faced just two overs before lunch but England managed to take a wicket in the first over.
Opener Phil Jaques has scored two centuries in three days against England over the weekend but failed to repeat that form.
Despite hitting the first delivery of the innings for four the left-hander was run out three balls later chasing a single, Sajid Mahmood coming in from mid-off to execute a well-taken dismissal at the bowler’s end.
Katich was then dropped on one by Anderson at square from the first ball after lunch, although the second wicket was not long coming when Ed Cowan gloved a wild attempted hook to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones - who missed two stumpings - during Matthew Hoggard’s next over.
Yet despite some consistent bowling from Monty Panesar, Anderson and Flintoff, Clarke and Katich were rarely troubled before tea.
Katich retired ‘hurt’ during the interval and new batsman Aaron O’Brien was dropped in the third over of the final session by Andrew Strauss at first slip.
Strauss made amends shortly after, taking an edge from O’Brien (two) off Anderson, before the Lancashire paceman bowled Daniel Smith first ball.
Anderson trapped Moises Henriques (12) lbw shortly after while Clarke was bowled by Giles trying to play a cut shot.
England play their final warm-up match against South Australia this weekend before the first Ashes Test begins in Brisbane on November 23.