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England ease past Pakistan

Last updated on: May 06, 2010 23:11 IST


England hardly strained a sinew as Kevin Pietersen's sizzling unbeaten 73 powered them to a clinical six-wicket victory over defending champions Pakistan in a Group E Super Stage match of the Twenty20 cricket World CupĀ at Bridgetown, Barbados, on Thursday.

England showed exemplary discipline with their battery of bowlers, restricting Pakistan to a modest 147 for nine, which was clearly a below-par score at the Kensington Oval track.

When they returned to chase, England got off to a good start and then Pietersen took the onus on himself to see the side through with a 52-ball knock that was studded with seven fours and two sixes.

Pakistan, on the other hand, helped England's cause by grassing as many as four catches, with Saeed Ajmal spilling three alone as their opponents overwhelmed the target with three balls to spare. Identical knocks of 25 by opener Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter set the tone for England's chase.

Paul Collingwood (16) and Eoin Morgan (5) could not make their presence count, but Pietersen stood like a rock and scored almost at will to ensure England never lost their way.

Earlier, Pakistan rode on cameos from Salman Butt (34) and Umar Akmal (30) to post a modest 149 for nine.

Put into bat, Pakistan could never really break loose in the face of the exemplary discipline showed by the England bowlers, especially Michael Yardy (2 for 19) and Stuart Broad (2 for 25) who sent down eight tidy overs between themselves.

The opening pair of Butt and Kamran Akmal (15) put 31 runs on board before Broad drew first blood in the fifth over when Kieswetter collected Akmal's top-edge behind the stumps.

Butt added 40 runs with Mohammad Hafeez (18) before Pakistan suffered a mini-collapse, losing three quick wickets for just six runs and reeling at 77 for four.

Butt fell to Graeme Swann after his 26-ball knock, Yardy removed Hafeez and captain Shahid Afridi faced just one ball before running himself out in pursuit of a non-existent single.

Umar Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq (13) tried to revive the innings but Yardy struck again, castling Misbah.

Akmal did not find any support from the lower order and perished in the 17th over when Kevin Pietersen took an excellent catch to give Ryan Sidebottom first of his two scalps.

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