Pietersen century lays platform for England victory

Published: Sunday, June 15, 2008, 23:00 [IST]
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Kevin Pietersen's unbeaten 110 was the cornerstone of England's 114 run thrashing of New Zealand in the first one-day international at the Riverside here Sunday which saw them go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

Pietersen's sixth hundred in 72 one-day internationals matches guided England to 307 for five and was his first century at this level since his 104 against Australia at the World Cup in Antigua last year.

World Cup semi-finalists New Zealand, chasing 308 to win, were bowled out for 193 with more than seven overs remaining as they lost only their second match in nine 50 overs per side contests.

South Africa-born Pietersen, who on Friday made 42 not out in England's nine-wicket Twenty20 thrashing of New Zealand at Old Trafford, was in total command and at times appeared to be toying with the bowling.

The 27-year-old faced 113 balls with three sixes - two of them outrageous reverse sweeps off medium-pacer Scott Styris - and eight fours.

Together with England one-day captain Paul Collingwood, who made a run-a-ball 64 in front of his Durham home crowd, he put on 136 for the fourth wicket after England had wobbled at 95 for three.

Owais Shah ensured the runs kept coming with a dashing 49 off 25 balls with three sixes and fours fours.

Shah added 73 in just 35 deliveries with Pietersen.

Ian Bell, retained as on opener after his man-of-the-match winning 60 on Friday, again provided the innings with a solid foundation before he was run out for 46 by Ross Taylor's direct hit from mid-wicket.

New Zealand's reply got off to a rapid start with openers Jamie How and Brendon McCullum putting on 50 inside eight overs.

But third seamer Stuart Broad, with his first ball, had McCullum, on 36, cutting a short delivery straight to Bell at extra-cover.

And New Zealand were soon 72 for three.

Collingwood, England's best fielder, ran out James Marshall with a direct hit from backward point on the bowler's end stumps before How spooned a catch to Wright in the covers off Broad.

From then on New Zealand never looked like mounting a recovery and medium-pacer Collingwood wrapped up the match with four for 15 in 17 balls.

New Zealand came into this match ranked third in the world in 50-over cricket and with a 3-1 series win over England on home soil in February to their credit.

But without accurate pace bowler Jacob Oram, who could miss the whole series with a hamstring injury, their seamers struggled to keep the runs down with England adding 109 in the last 10 overs.

Styris's eight cost an expensive 63 runs while teenage quick Tim Southee, fit after an ankle sprain, conceded 68 in 10.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who won the toss, did exert some control with one for 38 in 10 overs of left-arm spin, dismissing Collingwood when his rival skipper chopped on to his stumps.

But any hopes New Zealand, beaten 2-0 in a Test series by England earlier this month, had of stalling the run-rate were dashed by the dynamic Shah.

The Middlesex batsman never let up, striking Southee for a straight six in the last over, before he holed out in sight of a fifty.

The series continues at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

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