Pietersen helps England clip Kiwi's wings

Published: Monday, June 16, 2008, 0:37 [IST]
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Chester-le-Street: 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 on Sunday which saw them go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

Pietersen's sixth hundred in 72 one-day internationals 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 were bowled out for 193 with more than seven overs remaining as they lost for only the second time in nine one-dayers.

South Africa-born Pietersen, who on Friday made 42 not out in England's nine-wicket Twenty20 thumping 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 hits 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, his dashing 49 off 25 balls featuring three sixes and four fours.

Three New Zealand seamers - Tim Southee, Michael Mason and Styris - all conceded more than 60 runs apiece with Kyle Mills going for 59.

Only captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori escaped the onslaught with one for 38 in 10 overs.

Collingwood, who struggled for runs during England's recent 2-0 Test series win against New Zealand, said: "It was another great performance to back up from Friday and to do pretty much the same breeds confidence."

Medium-pacer Collingwood, who wrapped up the match with four wickets for 15 runs in 17 balls, was at the other end when Pietersen smashed Styris for those two extraordinary sixes.

"I covered my eyes as soon as he turned around. It feels like I've been batting left-handed for a month," joked Collingwood.

"He came down the wicket and said 'I was thinking about doing that in bed last night'. He was unbelievable."

Pietersen, who played a similar stroke for six against Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in a Test at Edgbaston two years ago, said: "The most important thing is an England victory not two shots I played."

The Hampshire shotmaker also paid tribute to England quick Stuart Broad who took a miserly two for 16 in eight overs.

"Broad bowled magnificently," said Pietersen. "I think he's a Glenn McGrath in the making."

New Zealand had high hopes for the one-dayers. But defeats at Edgbaston and Bristol on Wednesday and Saturday respectively could see them lose this series with a week to spare.

"It's the senior guys responsibility to stand-up and none of us are doing that at the moment," said New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.

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

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

New Zealand were soon 72 for three after James Marshall was run out by Collingwood and How spooned a catch to cover off Broad.

The Kiwis 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 series with a hamstring injury, New Zealand struggled to keep the runs down with England adding 70 in the last five overs.

"I think he will struggle to play in the next game," said Vettori.

"But because we've got such a long break after this, we can possibly push it harder with Jake than we normally would.

"It's not only his steadiness with the ball we missed but his power with the bat, we wouldn't have had to force the chase so much early on."


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