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Champions Trophy England v W Indies
Ahmedabad: 28 October, 2006



Champions Trophy, Ahmedabad: West Indies 272-4 lost to England 276-7 by three wickets

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen hit nine fours and a six in his unbeaten 90
Kevin Pietersen smashed an unbeaten 90 as England headed home from the Champions Trophy with a consolation three-wicket win over West Indies.

He guided England to 276-7 with nine balls to spare in Ahmedabad.

Chris Gayle shone with bat and ball for West Indies, scoring 101 and taking 3-31, and Dwayne Bravo hit 112 not out.

But it was not enough as Pietersen saw England home and there was more good news as Andrew Flintoff sent down five overs in his first bowl since June.

West Indies won the toss with a place in the semi-finals already secure and opted to bat first against an England side playing only for pride.

Brian Lara's decision to bat first appeared to pay off as they totalled 272-4, with Gayle putting on 174 for the second wicket with Bravo after opener Shiv Chanderpaul had been dismissed by Jon Lewis for 13.

Lewis was preferred to Steve Harmison, who was officially "rested" after being out of sorts with the ball in England's previous game, and bowled 10 tidy overs for figures of 1-35.

But England had to wait a long time for their next success.

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff bowled five overs for 27 runs in his return with the ball

Flintoff brought himself on to bowl in the 11th over and his first three-over spell was encouraging as he reached speeds of up to 87mph.

He later returned for two more overs but could not manage a wicket, despite getting both hands to a stinging return chance offered by Bravo.

England's fielding in general was far from flawless with Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell putting down Gayle and Michael Yardy failing to hold onto a skier from Ramnaresh Sarwan in the closing stages of the innings.

606 DEBATE: What are your thoughts on England's win?

There was also an uncharacteristic missed stumping from keeper Chris Read.

The partnership between Bravo and Gayle was the foundation for the West Indies total, with Bravo the more aggressive at the outset.

Despite that, it was Gayle who reached three figures first off 127 balls, seemingly without having to break into a sweat.

He was run out by Flintoff shortly afterwards without having a chance to really let rip, but Bravo continued on to reach his hundred off 117 balls with an leg-side boundary off Jimmy Anderson.

Bravo and Sarwan added 50 to the total before Sarwan was caught at long-on off Sajid Mahmood, who also claimed the notable scalp of Brian Lara for three.

Dwayne Bravo
Bravo kisses his bat after completing his century

Facing a tough target, England were out of the traps quickly in reply, especially Strauss, who smacked a 46-ball fifty before losing his concentration and being bowled by Gayle for 51.

Flintoff, batting at three, initially looked happy knocking the ball around for singles and twos but then attempted to raise the tempo and succumbed by holing out in the deep off Gayle for 25.

England work-horse Paul Collingwood's stay at the crease lasted all of one ball as he edged Gayle to Bravo at slip to leave England on 127-3.

And Bell, after completing his seventh ODI fifty, was run out immediately afterwards by a great piece of fielding by Lara, who swooped on the ball at mid-wicket and threw down the stumps without any sign of his bad back.

Michael Yardy's place in the one-day team may be under threat after less than convincing performances with the bat in India but he was unlucky this time as TV replays suggested the catch claimed in the deep by Bravo had been taken on the bounce.

With the run-rate rising rapidly, Jamie Dalrymple succumbed to the pressure and was bowled by Marlon Samuels for eight and Chris Read followed for four, dismissed by a slower Bravo delivery.

It was left to the man with an appetite for the big occasion, Pietersen, to try and see England home and he did so with able assistance from Mahmood, who weighed in with 14 off 12 balls.

Pietersen struck a huge six over long-off as they added 44 in 3.5 overs to lift England's spirits ahead of the Ashes tour to Australia.



SEE ALSO
Live: England v West Indies
28 Oct 06 |  Cricket
England slump to defeat in India
15 Oct 06 |  Cricket
ICC Champions Trophy 2006
27 Oct 06 |  Future tour dates


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