England hope to give Pietersen reason for return

England hope to beat New Zealand in their final Super Eights match at St.Lucia and give Kevin Pietersen a reason to return.

updated: May 10, 2010 17:03 IST
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England wants to thank star batsman Kevin Pietersen for his form at the World Twenty20 by winning through to the semi-finals without him.

Pietersen will be missing from England's line-up when they face New Zealand in their final Super Eights match at the Beausejour Stadium in St. Lucia on Monday because he has returned to London for the birth of his first child. However, he has promised to return should England advance.

England will be in the last four even before they play the Black Caps if Pakistan beat South Africa in the day's first match at the same venue. And even if England's game is a 'live' one, from their point of view, only a huge margin of defeat against New Zealand would deny them a semi-final place.

England are within touching distance of the last four after beating defending champions Pakistan and South Africa on the back of Pietersen fifties.

"The contributions he's made in the last two games - two man-of-the-matches - have been fantastic. His contributions have certainly gone a long way towards getting us into the semi-finals," said England captain Paul Collingwood.

England has never lifted a major one-day international trophy but Collingwood has no qualms about letting Pietersen leave the camp and so changing a winning side."Everything is going well, we hope we can get him back as well," Collingwood said. "We're delighted for him.

"He's about to have his first child. I know what that feels like, so it's great that he can go back and see that."

Meanwhile England off-spinner Graeme Swann wants the team to "absolutely hammer" New Zealand."It seems like we've got one foot in the door (of the semi-finals). But that's all it is," Swann said.

"We need to go and absolutely hammer New Zealand. That's what we want to do, smash every team we play, by playing this same brand of cricket.

"I genuinely think, for the first time looking at an England team, we can actually win this. It's not all hot air and bluster."

Swann and fellow spinner Michael Yardy took five wickets between them as England overwhelmed South Africa by 39 runs in Barbados on Saturday.

"I've always been an advocate of at least two spinners in Twenty20 cricket," said Swann, an off-spinner whose style dovetails with Yardy's left-arm style.

"We've struggled to nail that over the last 18 months, but I think Yards has come in and done a fantastic job."The fact he's left-arm, spinning the ball the other way (to me) makes a huge difference.

"If you've got two guys spinning the ball the same way it can be very effective - but batsmen can get set."The fact we've got eight overs to bowl in the middle and the ball is turning one way from one end and the opposite from the other, it makes it tricky for batsmen to get set. That's why it works so well."