Thu, Feb 23, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Pietersen leads England to Pakistan series whitewash

Reuters

Kevin Pietersen’s second successive century led England to a four-wicket victory over Pakistan and a series whitewash after the fourth and final one-day international in Dubai on Tuesday.

Pietersen smashed 130 off 153 balls as England reached their target of 238 with four balls to spare.

Pakistan’s 237 was built around half-centuries by Azhar Ali (58) and Asad Shafiq (65), but they lost momentum after a solid start and England overcame the early loss of in-form captain Alastair Cook to take partial revenge for their 3-0 defeat in the Test series.

Pietersen’s ninth one-day international century lifted him level with England batting coach Graham Gooch on 28 hundreds for his country and confirmed the return to form of a player who struggled in one-day cricket last year.

“That’s probably the best knock I’ve ever played in one-day cricket,” Pietersen said in a televised interview. “I enjoyed the calmness of the chase, we picked the bowlers to target, which we don’t often do in the England side.”

Pakistan recovered well from the early loss of Mohammad Hafeez, with Ali and Shafiq sharing a second-wicket partnership of 111 to give them a solid start.

However, Shafiq was bowled by Tim Bresnan and Ali caught by Eoin Morgan off Jade Dernbach as the hosts lost their way.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq struck a huge six in his knock of 46, but England bowled and fielded tightly, with Dernbach claiming figures of four for 45 and spinner Danny Briggs two for 39 on his international debut.

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