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48th Match, Super Eights: West Indies v England at Bridgetown, Apr 21, 2007

Pietersen fires England to epic win in Lara's finale

England wanted to win it for Duncan Fletcher, West Indies - and a countless number of fans the world over - for a certain Brian Charles Lara. In the end, a superb contest went England's way; a thrilling, one-wicket run chase in the last Super Eights match at the Kensington Oval, and it wouldn't have been remotely possible without the efforts of Kevin Pietersen. While so much of the attention was directed to Lara in his last international appearance, Pietersen did his part to take England home on a winning note, and treat the packed stadium to a great one-day contest.

To sum it up, the win was set up by another brilliant, round hundred from Pietersen - his fifth and, for the first time in a winning cause - and an equally valuable 38 from England's steel-reinforced wicketkeeper, Paul Nixon. Set 300 to win, England had been given a positive start by Michael Vaughan, but some inspiring fielding and bowling from Dwayne Bravo swung the momentum back West Indies' way.

Pietersen showed no nerves from the word go, picking up his first runs with a beautiful punch down the ground for four, and carried on in the same effortless vein. His extravagant shots put England on course, his running between the wickets were better than anyone else's and with the energetic Nixon he raised the fifty-run partnership from 43 balls.

In the 41st over, bowled by Jerome Taylor and with the run rate getting out of England's hands, Pietersen picked up back-to-back fours in fine fashion. The third ball of the over was outside off stump; Pietersen lunged forward and then just guided it off the outside edge to third man. The next was down leg stump and he just flicked it just past short fine leg. You could see the confidence in his body language and the enthusiasm of the English supporters growing. He swept into the 90s with another boundary, and reached 100 with a six, but when he was bowled next ball, 32 were still needed from 22 deliveries. Nixon hit four fours in his gem, and though he too was bowled with three to get, a nerveless Stuart Broad hit the winning runs.

They wouldn't have even gotten that far without Pietersen's excellent innings.

Earlier in the day, Pietersen ran out Lara with a good throw. Put that into perspective.