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England beats SAfrica by 20 runs in first ODI

England beats SAfrica by 20 runs in first ODI

Kevin Pietersen powered England to a 20-run victory over South Africa on Friday night, smashing an unbeaten 90 in just 82 balls and then taking two wickets in the opening one-day international against South Africa.
Pietersen enjoyed a 158-run partnership with Andrew Flintoff, who scored 78 in just 70 deliveries before being bowled by Dale Steyn in the last over to set South Africa a difficult target of 276 in the day-night international.
Pietersen ensured the tourists were dismissed for 255 in response.
South Africa collapsed from 142-2 to 168-5, with the offspinner claiming the wickets of A.B. de Villiers and Mark Boucher, and being involved in the runnout of Jacques Kallis for 52.
"The boys did a good job today," said Pietersen, who also enjoyed a test match victory over South Africa in his debut as captain earlier this month. "I think there are a few areas we can still improve but all round, I can't blame anyone. There's no point resting on our laurels, though. It is a long series, still four more games to play.
"We always start well and we end up messing it up a bit so I think Nottingham (on Tuesday) is a huge fixture for us."
Pietersen's decision to persuade Steve Harmison came out of international retirement to replace injured bowler Ryan Sidebottom proved inspirational.
Harmison removed Proteas captain Graeme Smith with his fourth ball and J.P. Duminy for 18.
"I don't think we played our best one-day game of the last two years," Smith said. "We showed a lot of rustiness throughout and the fact is we haven't had the greatest build up to this series.
"There is a lot to improve on before Nottingham. We were way below par, we know we can improve a hell of a lot and that is encouraging for us."
Batting after Pietersen won the toss on a cool day in northern England, South Africa pace bowlers Steyn and Makhaya Ntini tied down openers Ian Bell and Matt Prior. Bell and pinch-hitter Prior put on 77 for the first wicket but it took them almost 20 overs as the bowlers took the pace off the ball.
South Africa, already triumphant in a test series in England, can overtake Australia atop the world one-day rankings if they win the England series 4-1.
Bell was first to fall for 35, caught high in the air by de Villiers at point off the bowling of Kallis. Prior had just struck Kallis for six two overs later before slicing the next ball, de Villiers again taking the catch.
Prior, back in the England team after a year-long absence, scored 42, surviving a dropped catch by Vernon Philander.
Kallis had taken 2-25 from five overs, South Africa's best bowling, but left the field during the England innings with an apparent thigh injury. He returned but did not bowl again.
England looked in trouble when Owais Shah top-edged a sweep to Philander at deep square leg off the bowling of spinner Johan Botha. At 113-3 after 28 overs, a low total looked likely on an evenly paced Headingley wicket. Shah had scored just 12 in a 27-run partnership with Pietersen.
But then Pietersen and Flintoff, two of cricket's biggest hitters, came together. The South African-born captain survived two strong lbw appeals early in his innings but both batsmen grew in confidence. Pietersen did not a boundary in his first 52 balls.
Andre Nel was hit for 53 from his 10 overs and Steyn took one for 67 from his 10 overs.


Updated : 2021-07-24 13:59 GMT+08:00