(Reuters) – Kevin Pietersen hit his first ODI century for more than three years to steer England to a nine-wicket win over Pakistan yesterday to help them secure an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
Chasing 223 for victory, England eased home with 12.4 overs to spare after Pietersen (111 not out) and captain Alastair Cook (80) shared an opening partnership of 170.
Cook continued his excellent run with the bat, having made centuries in each of the first two matches in the series.
Pietersen’s last one-day international century came against India in Cuttack in November 2008.
“It was a great start,” said Cook. “It was nice to put a match-winning partnership together at the top of the order.
“Our bowlers were outstanding too. To keep them down to 222 on that wicket was a fantastic effort.”
Earlier, Steve Finn took three for 24 and fellow paceman Stuart Broad grabbed three for 42 as Pakistan were bowled out after winning the toss and deciding to bat.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi top-scored with 51 while Umar Akmal made 50.
“Full credit to the England team,” said Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq. “Their seamers are really bowling well and putting us under pressure … and it was a wonderful performance by their batsmen.
“One thing we can improve on is we can bat better than this and then try and set a good target and give our bowling a chance.”
The fourth and final match in the series is in Dubai on Tuesday.
Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Finn 29
Imran Farhat c Kieswetter b Finn 9
Azhar Ali c Kieswetter b Broad 5
Asad Shafiq run out 18
Misbah-ul-Haq c Swann b Broad 1
Umar Akmal c Patel b Broad 50
Shahid Afridi b Anderson 51
Adnan Akmal b Finn 9
Umar Gul not out 27
Saeed Ajmal b Anderson 4
Aizaz Cheema run out 5
Extras (lb 11, w 2, nb 1) 14
Total (all out; 50 overs) 222
Fall of wickets: 1-22 2-49 3-49 4-50 5-97 6-176 7-180 8-204 9-209 10-222
Bowling: J. Anderson 10-0-52-2, S. Finn 10-1-24-3 (2w), S. Broad 10-2-42-3 (1nb), G. Swann 10-0-44-0, S. Patel 8-1-37-0, R. Bopara 2-0-12-0
A. Cook c Adnan Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 80
K. Pietersen not out 111
E. Morgan not out 24
Extras (lb 3, w 4, nb 4) 11
Total (for one wicket; 37.2 overs) 226
Did not bat: J. Trott, R. Bopara, C. Kieswetter, S. Patel, S. Broad, G. Swann, J. Anderson, S. Finn Fall of wicket: 1-170
Bowling: Umar Gul 7-0-59-0 (4nb, 1w), Aizaz Cheema 6.2-0-40-0, Saeed Ajmal 10-1-40-1 (1w), Mohammad Hafeez 6-0-32-0, Shahid Afridi 8-0-52-0