The England team celebrate their convincing victory
Kevin Pietersen proved his first century in over three years was no one time occurrence as he smashed another one against Pakistan at Dubai to set up a 4-0 sweep of the ODI series.
Pietersen, who had lately been in a run of bad form is hoping that his back to back centuries will silence his critics and selectors, who are considering to replace him.
Pietersen, who was all smiles when he was presented with his Man of the Match award, said: “I enjoyed the innings, still not picking Ajmal after two months but it’s good fun.”
Pakistan, who won the toss and elected to bat first, got off to a good start, with Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq both scoring half centuries, as they mounted a 111 run partnership together. Ali, scored 58 runs, while Shafiq, added 65 towards the final total of 237.
None of the other Pakitani batsmen could get out of the starting blocks, with the one exception of Captain Misbah ul-Haq, who fell four runs short of what would have been a useful half century.
England quick bowler, Jade Dernbach was the pick of the English bowlers as he claimed four wickets, while giving away just 45 runs.
The tourists’ chase began terribly, as Captain Alastair Cook, who had been exceptional throughout the series, departed on four runs and then the Pakistani bowlers’ started removing many of the top and middle order batsmen, as England looked very shaky.
However, Pietersen and wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter steadied the ship as they put together a match-winning 109 run partnership.
Pietersen was finally caught out on 130 and Kieswetter soon followed, when he was run out on 43.
Saeed Ajmal was Pakistan’s best bowler with three wickets to his name.
Captain Cook was hoping this win would motivate the squad. Upon receiving his Man of the Series honour, Cook said: “These guys who came in today had a point to prove. We’ve got a couple of niggles in the batting line up so I’ll be staying on for the T20s.”
Captain ul-Haq also thought the series helped boost his teams’ confidence. “We had an improved performance today but could not finish it, we are getting good starts and can’t convert into big scores. If one of the top order gets a good score than you can win easily” he said.
With England completing their whitewash, Pakistan will be looking for revenge when the two sides play their first of three Twenty20 International matches on the 23rd of February at Dubai.