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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 February, 2005, 07:40 GMT
Ali negates nerves in rescue act
Ali dismissed Andrew Hall with his final ball
Kabir Ali came to England's rescue in the final over of a dramatic tie with South Africa and admitted he faced it with more than a hint of panic.

"The first ball went for four and I thought, 'God, what I have done?' but I managed to pull it back," he said.

"When Marcus Trescothick asked me to bowl the last over, I thought I hadn't bowled very well all day.

"But I thought I had nothing to lose and I still had the confidence to bowl good yorkers."

Trescothick, standing in as captain in the field with Michael Vaughan taken ill, was full of praise after Ali held his nerve with three needed off the last six deliveries.

To score a hundred for England in my sixth game is a dream come true
Kevin Pietersen

The Worcestershire bowler had conceded 49 from his first seven overs and was pulled for four off a no-ball with his first delivery back in the 50th over.

But Mark Boucher (caught) and Ashwell Prince (run out) fell in successive deliveries, setting up a last-ball play which saw Andrew Hall stumped by Geraint Jones needing just a single to win.

"It was a tough night for Kabir but that was a special last over under pressure," Trescothick said after the 20th tie in one-day history and England's third.

"It was always going to be a close contest and it got pretty hectic towards the end.

"We are pretty happy at the moment to have tied the game from that position."

Lost in a thrilling finish were the earlier scenes of celebration as Kevin Pietersen hit his first international century for England in his native South Africa.

Pietersen kissed the badge on his helmet and said: "It was all spontaneous. I'm happy as anything.

"To score a hundred for England in my sixth game is a dream come true. The boys are brilliant, the coaches are fantastic, everybody has been awesome."

Report: BBC Sport's Simon Mann

Interview: England's Kevin Pieterson

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