Pietersen guides England to 114-run win

Kevin Pietersen belted an unbeaten 110 to guide England to a 114-run win on Sunday in the series-opening limited-overs international against New Zealand.

updated: June 22, 2008 17:25 IST
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Kevin Pietersen belted an unbeaten 110, including two improvised switch hits for six, and Paul Collingwood contributed with bat and ball to guide England to a 114-run win on Sunday in the series-opening limited-overs international against New Zealand.

England posted 307 for five after being sent in to bat and then dismissed New Zealand for 193 in 42.5 overs, continuing their domination of the tour.

England won the Test series 2-0 and thrashed the Kiwis by nine wickets in a Twenty20 International last Friday before controlling the first of five ODIs from the start.

Coming in at No. 3 to join Ian Bell (46) after Luke Wright (11) was out to end a 49-run opening stand, Pietersen took time to settle in. He started hitting out in the last 20 overs and reached his first ODI hundred since his 144 in England's last ball, one-wicket win over the West Indies in the 2007 World Cup.

Pietersen shared important middle-order stands of 136 with Collingwood, who scored a run-a-ball 64, and 73 with Owais Shah, who made a cavalier 49 from 25 balls, including four fours and three sixes.

New Zealand's reply started positively, with Brendon McCullum stroking 36 from 27 balls until he miscued an attempted cut on Stuart Broad's first ball and sent it directly to Bell at cover, making the total 52-1 in the ninth over.

Wickets then fell at regular intervals, with Broad also removing Jamie How (20) and Daniel Flynn scoring a gritty 34 from 37 balls before he was unluckily adjudged to have gloved a legside catch behind off Graeme Swann.

Collingwood took the last four wickets as New Zealand's tailenders crumbled for 14 runs. He finished with 4-15 from 2.5 overs. Broad returned 2-16 from eight tidy overs and Swann had 2-45.

Collingwood also had input from the field _ running out James Marshall (4) with a direct hit at the non-striker's end from gully.

Pietersen's sixth ODI hundred set up the imposing target for the New Zealanders, who struggled to contain his rampant late onslaught.

The South Africa-born English batsman switched his grip and his stance to reverse sweep medium pacer Scott Styris over the deep cover boundary to move to 74.

More remarkably, he switched again for a reverse hit off Styris over the long-off boundary to move to 91 at the end of the 42nd over.

He finished with seven boundaries and three sixes from 112 balls faced, making it difficult for the New Zealand bowlers to get their lines or lengths right by moving the targets so much with his improvisation.

"It's something that I definitely practice and it's shots like that I visualize," he said. "I could easily have hit it up in the air and got out but it worked for me today."

"(Pietersen's) innings was just something phenomenal today _ to be hitting the shots that he was," Collingwood said. "It was a great total for us.

"We're looking for consistency in the One-day side and today we put in a near-perfect performance again."

Even New Zealand captain Vettori had praise for Pietersen's array of shots.

"They're pretty amazing shots. It's hard to know what to say," Vettori said. "Kevin was almost unstoppable at that stage."

England is hoping to avenge a 3-1 ODI series loss in New Zealand earlier this year.