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Page last updated at 21:10 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 22:10 UK

Pietersen set to fly home from ICC World Twenty20

Fans in the Caribbean are fully aware of Pietersen's situation
Fans in the Caribbean are fully aware of Pietersen's situation

England batsman Kevin Pietersen is to return home from the ICC World Twenty20 to be with his wife, Jessica, for the birth of their baby.

Pietersen, 29, who won Man-of-the-Match awards in England's last two games, hopes to return to the Caribbean for the semi-finals if they get through.

"It's my first child, so it's a hell of an exciting time for me," he said.

England will reach the last four if they beat New Zealand in their final Super Eights game on Monday.

But they could do so even if they lose, providing Pakistan beat South Africa earlier in the day.

Pietersen indicated before Christmas that he intended to return home to be with his wife, a former member of the pop group Liberty X who he married in December 2007, and he has permission from England team management to do so.

"We're delighted for him. He's about to have his first child. I know what that feels like, so it's great that he can go back and see that," said skipper Paul Collingwood.

The semi-finals take place in St Lucia on 13 and 14 May and Pietersen said: "I'll be dashing across the Atlantic and hopefully dashing back.

"I'm flying back to London in the next 24 hours and hoping everything goes well and according to plan, there's no complications.

"If we get through to the semi-finals, I'll come in the day before the semi-finals."

His innings of 53 off 33 balls paved the way to a 39-run win over South Africa in Barbados on Saturday and he said it was nice to be back "in nick" again after struggling to rediscover his best form.

"I've had a really rough last 12-14 months so it's nice to be back again," he added.

Collingwood described his side's performance against the Proteas as "fantastic".

He told BBC Test Match Special said: "We talk about momentum in this game and I really thought the way KP [Pietersen] and [Craig] Kieswetter took the game to the opposition, they played some outstanding shots, was incredible. It really put them on the back foot early doors and we never took the foot off the gas from then on.

"The bowling and the fielding was exceptional. We talk about the plans off the field, we spend hours looking at the opposition, and I thought the execution today was superb."


Looking ahead to the game against New Zealand in St Lucia, he added: "If we play anything like that against any side, we're going to give them a run for their money."

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith also praised England's performance, saying: "They were far better than us, especially in the first 10 overs.

"Basic mistakes - the no-ball and missed chances up front - really proved costly. We easily could have had England three or four down. But those basic mistakes allowed them to get that partnership going, and that proved to be the difference between the two teams.

"In general, it was a very disappointing day for us and we have to make sure we bounce back."

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see also
Dynamic England beat South Africa
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World Twenty20 day nine photos
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Pietersen shines in England win
06 May 10 |  Cricket
South Africa see off New Zealand
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England through after rain drama
04 May 10 |  England
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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