Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen hopeful of England victory

England batsman Kevin Pietersen said the hosts have not given up hope of winning the third Ashes Test.

Pietersen's 113 guided England to 294-7 after a tense third day at Old Trafford, still 34 runs short of avoiding the follow-on.

Analysis

"England were on the ropes before lunch so Pietersen had to score a hundred and he did.

"He also had to work hard for it, and when Pietersen has to work hard, somehow it makes for more worthwhile viewing."

Asked if England were confident of securing a draw needed to retain the Ashes, he said: "Yes, if not the win.

"I'm not sure about rain, but it's still a good wicket to get something if our engine room can apply themselves."

He added: "If we get as close as we can to their score there is no reason why we can't win because we've put a lot of work into their big fast bowlers today.

"The good thing is that we showed you can score runs on this wicket. If we can have a positive day tomorrow then anything can happen."

Australia, who made 527-7 declared in their first innings, bowled tirelessly on a flat pitch to take five wickets in the day.

England's leading batsmen

Test ODI T20 Total

Statistics correct at close of play on 3 Aug 2013

Kevin Pietersen

7,697

4,351

1,176

13,224

Graham Gooch

8,900

4,290

0

13,190

Alec Stewart

8,463

4,677

0

13,140

David Gower

8,231

3,170

0

11,401

Andrew Strauss

7,037

4,205

73

11,315

Ian Bell

6,302

4,428

175

10,905

But with rain expected to disrupt the remainder of the match, their hopes may rest on whether they can enforce the follow-on as opposed to batting again and taking time out of the game.

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc said the opening stages of day four would be crucial to the outcome of the match and to the tourists' chances of regaining the Ashes.

"We know we need to win this Test so it will be a big half an hour first thing on Sunday," said Starc, who took 3-75.

"We need to take these three wickets as quickly as we can. We need to take the aggressive approach, that's the Australian way. We always going out to win Test matches and this one's no different."

Starc added that taking the wicket of Pietersen, whom he dismissed lbw, was particularly pleasing.

"Kevin batted well for his hundred but to make sure he didn't go on to score a big one was important," said Starc. "It's always nice to get a big scalp and always nice to get Kevin."

Pietersen's 23rd Test century took him past Graham Gooch to become England's leading run-scorer in all forms of international cricket with 13,224 runs across Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s.

He added: "Personal achievements are fantastic and everybody wants to have them. I've just got to wait for that to sink in. It's quite nice, it's something nice."

Relive the key moments from BBC Test Match Special's commentary.