Stubborn Pietersen keeps England in contention

Harjit Mehat | cricket20

Kevin Pietersen strengthened his position as England premium t20 player with a stubborn half century to help England set Pakistan a victory target of 130 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The worldís number one t20 batsman held Englandís stuttering innings together with another important innings to help the t20 World Cup champions posts a total of 129-6 on a slow difficult wicket which assisted spinner Saeed Ajmal (4-23) who picked up four wickets.

Pietersen (62) only scored six boundaries and one six which came from the final ball of the innings but his presence at the crease throughout the innings highlighted the new found maturity the batsman has found during Englandís tour of the UAE.

The Pietersen of old would most likely have found himself back in the dugout early on he played another selfless innings to give England bowlers a chance of securing victory and the series.

With the exception of Pietersen who made batting look easy at times, Englandís top order struggled with only Craig Kieswetter making any sort of progress with a quick fire 17 before he was dismissed by Saeed Ajmal in the 5th over.

Thanks to the runs from Pietersen, Englandís innings slowly inched alone with Ravi Bopara (1), Eoin Morgan (9), Jonny Bairstow (3) and Jos Buttler (3) falling by the wayside.

With the top order struggerling to find any momentum, Samit Patel showed them how to do it with a quick fire cameo of 16 to help England set Pakistan a tricky run chase of a difficult pitch.

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