Peerless Pietersen sets up series victory

England 129-6 Pakistan 124-6 (England win by five runs)

Sheikh Zayed Stadium

A fortnight ago, Kevin Pietersen told the world that the wheel would turn. Since then it has been revolving at the speed of light and last night it showed no sign of slowing up.

Pietersen, out of one-day form for the best part of three years, scored an unblemished and unbeaten 62 from 52 balls which was enough – just – for England to win the third Twenty20 international against Pakistan by five runs in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and take the series 2-1.

Pakistan, who looked as though they were cantering to victory, needed six to win from the final ball. Their captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, who had somehow surrendered the initiative on a painfully slow pitch, played all round the delivery from Jade Dernbach and was bowled.

It was a fitting end to England's tour of the UAE and it was a deserved reward for a bowling attack that has been outstanding throughout in all forms of the game. Dernbach was nerveless in his last two overs, foxing Pakistan with a litany of devilish slower balls.

Similarly, Stuart Broad, the team's captain, had delivered a quite clinical penultimate over.

"After 10 overs, if we're all honest, it looked like the game was slipping away from us," said Broad. "But the 11 guys on the field were very clear that, if we could get a couple of tight overs in, you can change Twenty20 games just like that."

Broad also mentioned the contributions of Pietersen and Dernbach as key. "KP showed his experience, to know it wasn't going to be a 150-160 wicket. Once we got up to 130, I always thought that was going to be competitive. Jade was fantastic with his final two overs."

It seemed that England's chance might have gone, though, when Broad failed to remove the bails to complete an easy run-out of Umar Gul in the 16th over when only 33 were needed.

But the pitch became less user-friendly for batsmen as the night wore on and England's bowlers are in tip-top form. They simply offered nothing to hit and were relentlessly accurate either in bowling at the stumps or in pitching slower balls sufficiently wide of them to make aggression perilous.

Early on, though, it seemed that the tour might close as it had begun. Saeed Ajmal, torturer in chief of England for two long months, gleefully turned the thumbscrew, not to mention the doosra, one final time. But this time he ran into a Pietersen who had taken a crash course in reading him.

If anything, Ajmal has warmed more to his task as the three series of Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s have unfolded. On the first morning of the first match he announced himself to England's top order and by lunch had brought them to their knees. On the final night he refused to relent, taking wickets in each of his four overs and once more instilling fatal doubts.

However, there came one crucial piece of resistance. Pietersen's rediscovered mastery has made interpreting everybody else straightforward and as a result he is a man transformed. His 62 not out, his seventh T20 fifty, bestrode England's innings. By now, Pietersen has eminently justified the decision to move him to open the innings in both forms of the limited- overs game. In the past three weeks he has become the assertive batsman of old and although there was little flamboyance on display last night it was in its way flawless.

He seemed to have decided early on what total might give England a fighting chance of securing the series on a slow pitch designed for nagging spin bowlers. Together with Craig Kies-wetter he provided a rapid start while the ball was still hard and then ensured he kept his wicket intact, failing to score off only 18 balls and hitting the last six of the innings, a big shot in a low-scoring match.

To everybody else, Ajmal was as threatening as ever. But it was not to be enough. Pakistan had a flying start but were then arrested in the middle part of their innings. Only Steve Finn lacked a cutting edge for England but the others were wonderful. There were a few unusual fielding lapses and Jonny Bairstow's in the penultimate over might have been costly – but England held their nerve, and their patience.

Abu Dhabi scoreboard

Third Twenty20 match, Sheikh Zayed Stadium: England win by five runs and the series 3-0

England won toss


K P Pietersen not out 62

52 balls 1 six 6 fours

†C Kieswetter c Malik b Ajmal 17

17 balls 1 six 1 four

R S Bopara c Akmal b Cheema 1

2 balls

E J G Morgan run out 9

11 balls

J M Bairstow b Ajmal 3

8 balls

J C Buttler lbw b Ajmal 7

13 balls

S R Patel st Akmal b Ajmal 16

10 balls 1 six 1 four

*S C J Broad not out 6

7 balls

Extras (lb1 w7) 8

Total (for 6, 20 overs) 129

Fall: 1-29, 2-37, 3-62, 4-72, 5-89, 6-109.

Did not bat: G P Swann, J W Dernbach, S T Finn.

Bowling: Mohammad Hafeez 4-0-22-0, Aizaz Cheema 4-0-25-1, Umar Gul 4-0-39-0, Saeed Ajmal 4-0-23-4, Shahid Afridi 4-0-19-0.


Awais Zia lbw b Swann 23

28 balls 1 six 1 four

Mohammad Hafeez c & b Dernbach 0

1 ball

Asad Shafiq run out 34

32 balls 3 fours

* Misbah-ul-Haq b Dernbach 28

32 balls 2 fours

†Umar Akmal c Swann b Broad 22

23 balls 1 four

Shahid Afridi run out 3

2 balls

Hammad Azam not out 2

2 balls

Extras (lb7 w5) 12

Total (for 6, 20 overs) 124

Fall: 1-8, 2-48, 3-76, 4-113, 5-120, 6-124.

To bat: Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema.

Bowling: S T Finn 4-0-31-0, J W Dernbach 4-0-24-2, S C J Broad 4-0-24-1, S R Patel 4-0-18-0, G P Swann 4-0-20-1.

Umpires: Shozab Raza (Pak) and Zameer Haider (Pak).

Pakistan v England T20 in figures

12: Graeme Swann's bowling strike rate, the best in the Twenty 20 series

100: Runs conceded by Steven Finn in his 12 overs in the series

4-23: Saeed Ajmal's bowling figures yesterday, his second best return in a T20 international

112: Runs scored by Kevin Pietersen, the most in the series

129: Lowest total England have successfully defended in a T20 international

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent