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Pietersen fireworks hurt South Africa


Kevin Pietersen produced one of the best innings seen at this years tournament with a 30 ball half century which thrilled the Kensington Oval to help England set South Africa a victory target of 169.

Having won the toss Paul Collingwood decided to bat first against South Africa but it was the Proteas who made the first big break through.

Instead of opening with the pace of Dale Steyn South Africa skipper Graeme Smith decided to give the new ball to Johan Botha who repaid his skipper faith by picking up the wicket of Michael Lumb from just the 5th delivery of the over.

Lumb seemed troubled by the Pakistan spinners on Thursday but he kept Botha at bay without looking troubled until he failed to read the pace of Bothaís 5th delivery which wrapped him on his pads trapping him plum LBW.

It was the perfect start South Africa desperately wanted and it brought England danger man Kevin Pietersen to the crease inside the first over as the intensity increased out on the pitch.

With the pressure on England; Craig Kieswetter and Pietersen responded in fine fashion dispatching three boundaries during the second over which was bowled by Steyn as the pair made amends for the lose of Lumb so early.

The big hitting continued in the third over as Albie Morkel suffered a torrid time conceding 13 runs as the England batsman punished to awful bowling which included two no balls.

The second no ball of the over saw Kieswetter caught by Steyn out on the boundary as South Africa started to become rattled by the quick scoring of England since the wicket.

Charl Langeveldt offered some resistantís by conceding just 7 runs but the boundaries continued to flow when an obviously rattled Morkel returned to bowl the 5th over which saw another two boundaries conceded as Englandís rampage continued.

Kieswetter started the final over of fielding restrictions which a massive six off the bowling of Langeveldt which brought up the 50 partnership with Pietersen. After the early lose of Lumb England were now cruising along at a massive 10.46 an over.

By the time Langeveldt had completed his over Kieswetter had scored another to boundaries as England reach 65-1 at the end of the power play overs.

With England threatening to run up a massive score Smith responded by bringing Jacques Kallis and Botha back into the attack. The pair bowled 4 overs of slow bowling which saw Kieswetter and Pietersen score just 17 runs as the pace was taken off the ball.

Normal service was resumed in the next over by Pietersen who dispatched Steyn for a boundary and then a massive six which landed on the roof of the Greenidge and Haynes stands.

Pietersen then brought up an incredible half century with a flick through midwicket which crashed into the boundary boards to cap a brilliant innings.

Heís contribution was ended in the next over by Botha but the damage had already been done in a stunning blitz that lasted 33 balls as Pietersen completed one of the best innings of the tournament and his England career.

With the wicket of Pietersen; Kallis was brought back into the attack and he was on course for another good over conceding just one run until Paul Collingwood pulled him for a massive six over midwicket to end the over.

After being overshadowed by Pietersen; Kieswetter added to the six total with a massive six over midwicket off the bowling of JP Duminy but the bowler struck back when Kieswetter (41) attempted to repeat the shot two balls later to leave England 113-3.

With the lose of Kieswetter; Collingwood (14) tried to increase the tempo by smashing Morkel for a massive six over long on but the bowler had the last laugh when wicket keeper Mark Boucher caught a spiralling catch two balls later to dismiss the England skipper to leave England 124-4.

After such an aggressive start by England the Proteas had worked their way back into the game by picking up the wickets of Pietersen and Kieswetter in the space of 2 overs which left the game well poised with 5 overs remaining.

Englandís momentum started to stall when Langeveldt bowled Luke Wright (0) with a perfect yorker at the start of the 16th over before going on to concede just 2 runs.

After the fireworks of Pietersen and Kieswetter England were in danger of ending their innings with a disappointing total and when Eoin Morgan (21) was brilliantly caught by AB de Villiers at the start of the 18th over a total of 180 now seemed unlikely.

Michael Yardy and Tim Bresnan added 14 valuable runs at the end of the innings before Bresnan (13) was bowled by an in-swinger from Morkel. Yardy was joined at the crease by fellow spinner Graeme Swann and the pair added another 6 runs to help England reach 168-7.

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