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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pietersen power play central to England's glory

Pietersen power play central to England's glory

May 17, 2010 10:51 IST

Kevin PietersenConsistency and confidence were the twin buzzwords in the England camp as they marched to Twenty20 World Cup success and no-one encapsulated those qualities better than Kevin Pietersen.

The South African born batsman was named Player of the Tournament after his latest display of powerful strokeplay in Sunday's final win over Australia at the Kensington Oval.

Pietersen struck 47 from 31 balls in a devastating second-wicket partnership of 111 with Craig Kieswetter, batting with a confidence that bordered on arrogance.

It was just the sort of innings that Australians have made against England in the past -- utterly in control and without fear and it came at the end of a tournament where Pietersen has flourished when it mattered the most.

The only time Pietersen did not make a match-winning contribution for England after the initial, rain-hampered group stage, was in the third Super Eight match against New Zealand when the batsman was at home in England with his wife for the birth of their son.

Pietersen's scores in his last four innings in this tournament have been 73 not out, 53, 42 not out and 47.

"He's a match-winner," said Australia captain Michael Clarke moments after Sunday's final. "He's one of those guys who can take the game away from you on his own.

"His performances in this tournament have been excellent and it's great for the game that he's back in form. He's in a good place off the field as well and is obviously a very happy man at the moment," he said.

MASSIVE CONTRIBUTION

They were not only good individual performances, they were crucial ones which contributed massively to England's success.

Crammed in between those innings was a 17-hour, 8,000 mile round-trip back to England where he became a father and then flew back to help beat Sri Lanka in the semi-final.

"It is incredible really, probably it will only be when I see my little boy and hold him that everything will probably sink in," said Pietersen about his remarkable week.

"Right now in the dressing room we will celebrate as a team but things only seem to sink in a few days later or a week later.

"Hopefully the Ash cloud will stay away and we can get back to our families on Tuesday because it's one thing celebrating with the lads but you also want your families around you to celebrate such a successful time," said Pietersen.

The Hampshire batsman began the year in poor form, having struggled during the tour of South Africa and the early tour games in Bangladesh and he says it was hours of work in the nets in the sub-continent that got him back into the kind of form he is now showing -- which some consider his best ever.

"I just worked really hard as I can because I was really disappointed in my winter and in the last 12 months," he said.

"It's difficult for me to say how well I'm batting. I feel good and to contribute to this, there's no greater feeling. To do what we have done here in the past two weeks – priceless," he added.
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