Pietersen ton seals England series victory

Openers cruise after bowlers rip through Pakistan top order to continue amazing turnaround in form


The team who could not win now cannot lose. Having suffered a whitewash against Pakistan in the Test series, a form of the game at which they are No 1 in the world, England yesterday took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the one-day series, a format at which they were generally considered to be useless.

They did so in lustrous style, winning by nine wickets with 76 balls to spare. Kevin Pietersen made his eighth one-day international hundred, his first in 37 innings, and finished with 111 not out from 98 balls. It was a reasonable marker to lay down as an indication that his elevation to opener might actually work.

On the way, he became only the seventh England batsman to reach 4,000 runs in one-day internationals, a landmark he reached with his 67th six. It has been a difficult tour for Pietersen, as he had conceded the day before this match, but this was firm evidence that that talk of the 2015 World Cup is not a mere pipe dream.

He shared an opening partnership of 170 with Alastair Cook, England's highest for the first wicket against Pakistan. Cook was in full view of his third successive hundred, a feat never before achieved by an England batsman, when he inexplicably played down the wrong line to Saeed Ajmal was caught behind. Until then England were doing much as they wanted against a Pakistan side which had long since given up the ghost.

Pietersen, as is his wont, was less than glowing about his own performance, relieved though he must have been, but he was fulsome about the team. "It's nice to get a hundred," he said. "I didn't know it was three-and- a-half years but it's a long time ago.3-0 up, it's a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant result for the lads.

"There's a reason why not everybody keeps getting hundreds in one-day cricket. In Test cricket you can bat at a pace, bat for two sessions, three sessions. One-day hundreds are very hard and when you get 'em, you enjoy 'em."

This turnaround in fortune has been as unpredictable as it has been astonishing. What was supposed to happen was that England would come to the UAE, win the Tests narrowly on alien pitches in keeping with their status and struggle haplessly in the shorter game.

And what misguided tosh that has proved. England, led unflappably by Cook, have played seamlessly in the past few days. In Abu Dhabi they batted first and defended their total both times, in Dubai yesterday they were forced to bat second and made light work of the task.

Effectively, sometimes spectacularly, though Pietersen and Cook batted, assembling the highest of their three partnerships all of which have passed 50, they were operating in the wake of a wonderful bowling effort. Pakistan's batting, in truth, was as toothless as England's had been for most of the Test rubber but they were confronted by an attack who knew what they were doing and did it.

The seamers did the damage. Steve Finn was again resplendent: fast, accurate, menacing and altogether too awkward a proposition for several of the opposition batsmen. But Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson were uniformly proficient and Broad, in particular, responded splendidly after his first over cost 16 runs.

Finn, who had made the initial breakthrough, had Mohammad Hafeez lbw and Broad coaxed edges out of Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq. The first embryonic recovery was curbed when Asad Shafiq was run out scrambling for his ground. To all intents he had made it but his bat was not grounded as he dived. When you need the rub of the green you never get it.

There followed something ofsubstance from Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi which might have taken Pakistan to the more threateningregions of 250. But England neverlet them off the hook and although Afridi rattled along at a run a ball the overall rate barely went above four an over.

After Akmal was out, superbly caught by the maligned Samit Patel, darting to his right and clutching the ball inches above the ground, Pakistan did not hang around long.

England's opening pair rattled along from the start and, when they took 15 from the fifth over, a 10-ball affair from Umar Gul, the game was in the palm of their hand.

Pietersen offered one chance when a fierce pull was put down at deep midwicket when he was 45 but thereafter England cruised.

Meanwhile, Graham Gooch, hitherto batting consultant to England, has been made full-time batting coach.

Dubai scoreboard

Pakistan won toss

Dubai scoreboard

Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Finn 29/28/3/0

Imran Farhat c Kieswetter b Finn 9/10/2/0

Azhar Ali c Kieswetter b Broad 5/13/0/0

Asad Shafiq run out 18/39/2/0

*Misbah-ul-Haq c Swann b Broad 1/6/0/0

Umar Akmal c Patel b Broad 50/92/1/0

Shahid Afridi b Anderson 51/55/3/1

Adnan Akmal b Finn 9/22/0/0

Umar Gul not out 27/27/1/2

Saeed Ajmal b Anderson 4/5/0/0

Aizaz Cheema rot out 5/4/0/0

Extras (lb11 w2 nb1) 14

Total (50 overs) 222

Fall 1-22 2-49 3-49 4-50 5-97 6-176 7-180 8-204 9-209 10-222.

Bowling J M Anderson 10-0-52-2; S T Finn 10-1-24-3; S C J Broad 10-2-42-3; G P Swann 10-0-44-0; S R Patel 8-1-37-0; R S Bopara 2-0-12-0.


*A N Cook c Adnan Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 80/98/9/1

K P Pietersen not out 111/98/10/2

E J G Morgan not out 24/32/2/1

Extras (lb3 w4 nb4) 11

Total (for 1, 37.2 overs) 226

Fall 1-170.

Did not bat I J L Trott, R S Bopara, C Kieswetter, S R Patel, S C J Broad, G P Swann, J M Anderson, S T Finn.

Bowling Umar Gul 7-0-59-0; Aizaz Cheema 6.2-0-40-0; Saeed Ajmal 10-1-40-1; Mohammad Hafeez 6-0-32-0; Shahid Afridi 8-0-52-0.

Umpires Aleem Dar (Pak) and S J A Taufel (Aus).

England win by 9 wickets.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments