Pakistan beaten in Super Eights opener
BRIDGETOWN: A fine unbeaten 73 from Kevin Pietersen led England to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Pakistan in their opening Super Eight game at the Twenty20 World Cup on Thursday.
With plenty of English support in the Caribbean sunshine in Barbados, England had little trouble in surpassing Pakistan''s total of 147 with three balls to spare.
Pakistan made a bright start, reaching 50 inside seven overs, but their momentum was lost after the introduction of spin with Graeme Swann picking up the vital wicket of opener Salman Butt, who had made 34 off 26 balls.
Slow left-armer Michael Yardy took two wickets but the second major breakthrough wicket came when Pietersen made a superb running catch in the deep to get rid of Umar Akmal who had reached 30 in 25 balls.
Pakistan''s troubles were partially self-inflicted, skipper Shahid Afridi getting himself out attempting a suicidal run from his first ball.
England''s South African-born opening pair of Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter put on 44 for the first wicket before Lumb went in the sixth over.
England were helped by poor fielding from Pakistan who dropped five catches, three by Saeed Ajmal.
Pietersen''s 73 from 52 balls, including eight fours and two sixes, steered England home comfortably.