Kevin Pietersen smashed 53 off 39 balls after Steven Finn's brilliant three-wicket haul as England finally ended the disastrous tour of India on a winning note by beating India by six wickets in the one-off Twenty20 international at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.
Steven Finn celebrates the dismissal of Ravindra Jadeja at the
Eden Gardens on Saturday. Pic/AFP
The current World Twenty20 champions lived up to expectations right from the word go. Finn (3-22) showed the way by restricting India to a meagre 120-9 in their allotted 20 overs and then Pietersen took the onus on himself to guide the tourists home with eight balls to spare.
Pietersen, who was dropped once by Suresh Raina, led the charge for England with three sixes and four hits to the fence. Pietersen added 60 runs with Samit Patel (21) for the third wicket. Earlier, Raina was India's top-scorer with 39 off 29 balls, which included two sixes and four boundaries while captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored 21.
Slow and difficult
After the defeat, Dhoni once again slammed the Eden pitch as 'slow' and 'difficult'. He felt that 10-15 more runs could have changed the course of the game. "It was very slow and very difficult. They were bowling in the right areas. They used the slower balls really well... but if we could have managed 10-15 more runs, the game could have been different," said Dhoni after the match.
Man of the Match Kevin Pietersen said: "No doubt, the wicket was tricky, but on the slower side." Pietersen also admitted that he badly wanted to play at the Eden again. "I always love to play at Eden Gardens. I didn't play the last one-dayer because of my broken finger.
But before this match, I really begged my coach to play me. Every cricketer wants to play at venues like Eden, MCG or SCG and that's why I was desperate to play here. At last we won a match that would gave me more satisfaction," he said.
England skipper Graeme Swann also slammed the wicket. "We won the match, but the wicket was not an ideal T20 one," he felt. He, however, showered praise on his fast bowlers. "Our seamers bowled brilliantly. They restricted the Indian batters very well."