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Rediff.com  » Cricket » South Africa hit by KP storm

South Africa hit by KP storm

May 09, 2010 03:20 IST

Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen was the pivot around which England's batting revolved against South Africa in the Twenty20 World Cup match on Saturday.

He was undoubtedly their best batsman. Even though he is coming back from an Achilles injury he's been in good knick throughout the tournament.

-Scorecard: South Africa vs England

If against Pakistan, he steered England home by finding the gaps with deft play, against South Africa he was all about brute power and class.

A belligerent half-century by Pietersen, his second consecutive of the tournament, helped England set a competitive 168 for seven in their stipulated overs.

Pietersen was ably supported by wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter; together they shared a 94-run stand for the second wicket, which laid the platform for England's 39-run win against the Proteas.

Kieswetter and Pietersen put the attack to the sword and shared as many as nine fours and a six in the first six overs. Kieswetter started the proceedings with a blazing four at cover and Pietersen followed it up with two more fours in the second over of Dale Steyn.

Morne Morkel was at the receiving end in the next over when Pietersen slammed him at mid-wicket and then picked up another one off the last delivery.

There was still no respite for Morne as Peitersen shovelled a pull through square leg in his next over to pick up a four and then slammed one at mid-wicket.

After a few silent overs, Pietersen stepped the tempo once again, in the 11th over, hammering Steyn for two fours and a six to accumulate 16 runs en route to his fifty.

When Kieswetter also went two overs later for 41, England lost their momentum somewhat and would have been disappointed they did not go on to make an even bigger score.

Then spinners Graeme Swann (3-24) and Michael Yardy (2-31) showed their worth as South Africa were bowled out for 129.

The victory means England have a maximum four points ahead of their final Group E game against New Zealand on Monday.

New Zealand and South Africa have two points while Pakistan are without a win from two matches.