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Consolation victory for England

By The Assam Tribune

KOLKATA, Oct 29 (PTI): Kevin Pietersen struck a rollicking 53 as England salvaged some pride on an otherwise dismal Indian tour with a comprehensive six-wicket victory over the hosts in the lone Twenty20 International here today.

Pietersen, who missed the visitors� last ODI here because of a fractured left thumb, returned in style with a match-winning knock that came off 39 balls as England chased down India�s modest 121-run target with eight balls to spare.

After being dropped on one by Suresh Raina, Pietersen hit five boundaries and three sixes en route his quickfire innings as the reigning T20 champions proved their supremacy in the shortest format of the game.

Samit Patel was the second-best run-maker for England with a 25-ball 21, while Ravi Bopara remained unbeaten on 14.

Earlier, India produced an ordinary batting performance to be restricted to 120 for nine.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni�s decision to bat first at a slowish Eden Gardens pitch backfired as barring Suresh Raina (39) and the skipper (21) himself, no other batsmen could post a challenge before the determined English attack.

Virat Kolhi and Manoj Tiwary made identical 15 and towards the end R Ashwin (17) played a short-little cameo to help the home team�s cause.

Right-arm pacer Steven Finn, who impressed in the just-concluded ODI series, was the pick of the English bowlers with figures of three for 22, while Tim Bresnan (2/19) and part-timer Ravi Bopara (2/16) gave him the perfect support from the other end. England, however, did not have the best of the starts while chasing against an all-spin Indian attack.

Ashwin and Pathan managed to hold the England openers but it was left-arm spinner Jadeja who gave the first breakthrough removing Kieswetter for 12 to give some ray of hope to the Indians.

England could have been further trouble if not for otherwise an agile Raina, who dropped Pietersen in the next over with the star batsman on one.

Three Indian fielders chased for Pietersen�s top-edge that came from Ashwin�s bowling and in the end Raina went for it, only to put it down, in what appeared to be the turning point of the match.

Pathan dismissed the other opener Alex Hales (11) but Pietersen grew in stature, unperturbed of what�s happening around him.

After a cautious start, Pietersen opened up with some good blows against Pathan as he stitched a decisive third wicket 60-run partnership with Samit Patel.

The duo completed 50 runs together from 36 balls as the target looked within reach.

Pietersen completed his half-century from 34 balls with three sixes and five boundaries before he was adjudged leg before wicket to Raina, 15 runs short of the target.

SCORECARD

India: Robin Uthappa c Kieswetter b Bresnan 1, Ajinkya Rahane c Kieswetter b Finn 0, Virat Kohli c Hales b Bresnan 15, Suresh Raina c Bairstow b Finn 39, Manoj Tiwary b Patel 15, MS Dhoni run out (Dernbach) 21, Ravindra Jadeja b Finn 0, Yusuf Pathan b Bopara 10, Praveen Kumar b Bopara 0, R Ashwin not out 17. Extras: (LB 1, W 1) 2. Total: (for 9 wickets in 20 overs) 120. Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-5, 3-26, 4-66, 5-74, 6-74, 7-91, 8-91, 9-120. Bowling: Steven Finn 4-0-22-3, Tim Bresnan 4-1-19-2, Jade Dernbach 4-0-26-0, Samit Patel 3-0-13-1, Graeme Swann 2-0-23-0, Ravi Bopara 3-1-16-2.

England: Alex Hales c Rahane b Pathan 11, Craig Kieswetter c Tiwary b Jadeja 12, Kevin Pietersen lbw b Raina 53, Samit Patel c Tiwary b Kohli 21, Ravi Bopara not out 14, Jonny Bairstow not out 2. Extras: (B-1, LB-3, W-4) 8. Total: (for 4 wickets in 18.4 overs) 121. Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-40, 3-100, 4-106. Bowling: R Ashwin 4-0-20-0, Yusuf Pathan 3-0-34-1, Ravindra Jadeja 4-1-9-1, Praveen Kumar 1-0-13-0, R Vinay Kumar 2-0-19-0, Virat Kohli 2.4-0-13-1, Suresh Raina 2-0-9-1.

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Consolation victory for England

KOLKATA, Oct 29 (PTI): Kevin Pietersen struck a rollicking 53 as England salvaged some pride on an otherwise dismal Indian tour with a comprehensive six-wicket victory over the hosts in the lone Twenty20 International here today.

Pietersen, who missed the visitors� last ODI here because of a fractured left thumb, returned in style with a match-winning knock that came off 39 balls as England chased down India�s modest 121-run target with eight balls to spare.

After being dropped on one by Suresh Raina, Pietersen hit five boundaries and three sixes en route his quickfire innings as the reigning T20 champions proved their supremacy in the shortest format of the game.

Samit Patel was the second-best run-maker for England with a 25-ball 21, while Ravi Bopara remained unbeaten on 14.

Earlier, India produced an ordinary batting performance to be restricted to 120 for nine.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni�s decision to bat first at a slowish Eden Gardens pitch backfired as barring Suresh Raina (39) and the skipper (21) himself, no other batsmen could post a challenge before the determined English attack.

Virat Kolhi and Manoj Tiwary made identical 15 and towards the end R Ashwin (17) played a short-little cameo to help the home team�s cause.

Right-arm pacer Steven Finn, who impressed in the just-concluded ODI series, was the pick of the English bowlers with figures of three for 22, while Tim Bresnan (2/19) and part-timer Ravi Bopara (2/16) gave him the perfect support from the other end. England, however, did not have the best of the starts while chasing against an all-spin Indian attack.

Ashwin and Pathan managed to hold the England openers but it was left-arm spinner Jadeja who gave the first breakthrough removing Kieswetter for 12 to give some ray of hope to the Indians.

England could have been further trouble if not for otherwise an agile Raina, who dropped Pietersen in the next over with the star batsman on one.

Three Indian fielders chased for Pietersen�s top-edge that came from Ashwin�s bowling and in the end Raina went for it, only to put it down, in what appeared to be the turning point of the match.

Pathan dismissed the other opener Alex Hales (11) but Pietersen grew in stature, unperturbed of what�s happening around him.

After a cautious start, Pietersen opened up with some good blows against Pathan as he stitched a decisive third wicket 60-run partnership with Samit Patel.

The duo completed 50 runs together from 36 balls as the target looked within reach.

Pietersen completed his half-century from 34 balls with three sixes and five boundaries before he was adjudged leg before wicket to Raina, 15 runs short of the target.

SCORECARD

India: Robin Uthappa c Kieswetter b Bresnan 1, Ajinkya Rahane c Kieswetter b Finn 0, Virat Kohli c Hales b Bresnan 15, Suresh Raina c Bairstow b Finn 39, Manoj Tiwary b Patel 15, MS Dhoni run out (Dernbach) 21, Ravindra Jadeja b Finn 0, Yusuf Pathan b Bopara 10, Praveen Kumar b Bopara 0, R Ashwin not out 17. Extras: (LB 1, W 1) 2. Total: (for 9 wickets in 20 overs) 120. Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-5, 3-26, 4-66, 5-74, 6-74, 7-91, 8-91, 9-120. Bowling: Steven Finn 4-0-22-3, Tim Bresnan 4-1-19-2, Jade Dernbach 4-0-26-0, Samit Patel 3-0-13-1, Graeme Swann 2-0-23-0, Ravi Bopara 3-1-16-2.

England: Alex Hales c Rahane b Pathan 11, Craig Kieswetter c Tiwary b Jadeja 12, Kevin Pietersen lbw b Raina 53, Samit Patel c Tiwary b Kohli 21, Ravi Bopara not out 14, Jonny Bairstow not out 2. Extras: (B-1, LB-3, W-4) 8. Total: (for 4 wickets in 18.4 overs) 121. Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-40, 3-100, 4-106. Bowling: R Ashwin 4-0-20-0, Yusuf Pathan 3-0-34-1, Ravindra Jadeja 4-1-9-1, Praveen Kumar 1-0-13-0, R Vinay Kumar 2-0-19-0, Virat Kohli 2.4-0-13-1, Suresh Raina 2-0-9-1.