Pietersen hammers Zimbabwe bowlers

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2007, 19:35 [IST]
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Kevin Pietersen lashed 79 off 37 balls as England took on giant-killers Zimbabwe in a World Twenty20 match at Newlands.

England made 188 for nine after choosing to bat. Pietersen and captain Paul Collingwood were mainly responsible for England posting a competitive total, putting on 100 for the fourth wicket off 54 balls.

Opening bowler Elton Chigumbura, one of the heroes of Zimbabwe's five-wicket win over tournament favourites Australia Wednesday, took four for 31. He twice took wickets with successive deliveries.

Pietersen batted with power and invention in an innings which included four sixes and seven fours. At one stage he hit successive reverse sweep shots off slow left-arm bowler Keith Dabengwa for 6, 4 and 4 in an over in which he scored 22 runs.

It was the reverse sweep which was his downfall, however, when he hit Zimbabwe captain, off-spinner Prosper Utseya, to Hamilton Masakadza on the deep cover boundary.

The momentum went out of England's innings in the next over when Collingwood attempted a second run and could not beat an accurate throw from the boundary by Vusi Sibanda.

England could only add 37 runs for the loss of six wickets in the last 5.3 overs following Pietersen's dismissal. But their total was 50 runs better than Australia managed against the same opponents Wednesday.

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