Unorthodox Pietersen ton leads England to win

Kevin Pietersen’s inventive 110 not out, which included two unorthodox left-handed sixes, helped steer England to a 114-run win over New Zealand in the first one-day international at Durham on Sunday.

England took the lead in the five-match series after the Kiwis, replying to England’s 307 for five, failed to threaten their target and were all out for 193. Brendon McCullum top-scored with 36 while Paul Collingwood took four for 15.

New Zealand were unable to halt their losing streak after they were beaten 2-0 in the Tst series and went down by nine wickets in Friday’s Twenty20 international.

“We said we wanted to back up what we did in the Twenty20 match so we are really chuffed with that,” England’s Luke Wright told Sky Sports. “We feel like we have got a good set of lads together and everyone is doing well at the moment.”

New Zealand’s task was made all the more difficult after a fourth-wicket partnership of 136 between Pietersen and skipper Collingwood, who struck a run-a-ball 64.
Owais Shah added a skilful 49 from just 25 balls, including three sixes.

England’s top-ranked batsman Pietersen faced 112 balls and struck eight fours and three sixes in compiling his sixth one-day international century and first since the World Cup last April.

Changed grip
The sixes he struck off medium-pace bowler Scott Styris created the greatest talking point.

In the 39th over, the right-handed Pietersen played what appeared to be a reverse sweep over cover for six but he had actually changed his grip and effectively played a conventional sweep as a left-hander.

Styris stood and admired. He repeated the shot for another six but this time over long-off.

A more conventional straight drive for four next over registered the 100 partnership with Collingwood, who looked a more relaxed batsman than he had appeared in the Test series when his place had been called into question.

Ian Bell (46) continued the momentum from his 60 not out on Friday by striking Kyle Mills for 10 runs from the first three legitimate balls of the match, including two boundaries.

The New Zealand innings faltered once Stuart Broad had dangerman McCullum caught at cover off an uppish square cut, in his first over. Broad had the remarkable figures of two for 11 from his first seven overs.

New Zealand were so far behind the required run rate that England could even afford some fielding errors, as Wright and Collingwood each missed run out opportunities, though Collingwood’s direct hit did earlier account for James Marshall. - Reuters

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