Kevin Pietersen’s classy innings of 53 runs of just 33 balls along with young Craig Kieswetter’s 41 helped England register a comprehensive 39-run victory over South Africa in an important Super Eight stage match of the ICC World T20 Championship at the Kensington Oval here.
The duo helped England post a challenging total of 168 runs for the loss of seven wickets after Paul Collingwood won the toss and elected to bat.
Pietersen and Kieswetter shared a 94 run partnership in just under 12 overs, with both punishing South African pacers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, whose combined eight overs cost a hugely expensive 90 runs.
Pietersen”s knock featured a six and eight fours before he top-edged a delivery from off-spinner Johan Botha, who was the pick of the bowlers for the Proteas taking two for 15 in his quota of four overs.
In reply, South Africa never looked like achieving the target thanks to a dramatic top-order collapse at the hands of English spinners Graeme Swann (three wickets for 24 runs) and Michael Yardy (two for 26).
JP Duminy tried his best to inject some momentum in the team’s chase with his calculated 39, but failed to avoid the inevitable.
The win has given England a strong chance of cementing a berth in the semi-finals of the coveted tournament.
England will take on New Zealand in their last Super Eight fixture on Monday.
England 168 for 7 (Pietersen 53, Botha 2-15), South Africa 129 (Duminy 39, Sidebottom 3-23, Swann 3-24). (ANI)