KOLKATA, India (AP) — Kevin Pietersen returned from injury to hit 53 on Saturday and give England its only tour victory with a six-wicket win against India in their one-off Twenty20 match.
India scored 120-9 after choosing to bat at Eden Gardens and England comfortably reached 121-4 in reply with eight deliveries left.
Pietersen, who missed the last ODI because of a thumb fracture, showed his importance to England with an aggressive display of skillful shots. He came in at 21-1 and departed in the 16th over with victory almost certain at 106-4.
The Surrey batsman was leg before wicket to Suresh Raina after a 39-ball innings which included three sixes and five fours.
India gave an early sign of its tactics when spinners Ravichandran Ashwinwhich and Yusuf Pathan opened the bowling attack.
England opener Craig Kieswetter was dismissed in the 4th over for 12 off slow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja but England was never in real trouble from any of the Indian pacers.
Earlier, India started disastrously by slumping to 26-3 in 5.2 overs. Raina topscored for India with 39, including two sixes, before being caught by Jonathan Bairstow off Steven Finn.
Medium pacers Finn (3-22) and Tim Bresnan (2-19) took five wickets between them in eight tight overs for England, while Ravi Bopara also bowled effectively to take 2-16 off three overs.
England Twenty20 captain Graeme Swann praised Finn's performance.
"He has been the shiniest stuff for us in this whole month," Swann said. "He has always responded whenever we needed a wicket. He has bowled superbly."
With India struggling at 91-8, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (21) shared a 29-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin for the ninth wicket.
India brought in opener Robin Uthappa and middle order batsman Yusuf Pathan for the match.
England lost the one-day series against India 5-0 but retained its top spot in the T20 version of the game.
"It has been a tough month for us and we have played some horrible cricket in the last five games," Swann said. "Today the seam bowlers were outstanding and Kevin Pietersen's work with the bat was phenomenal."
Dhoni said India needed a few more runs,
"The wicket was very slow and very difficult. England were bowling in the right area. They used the slower ball really well," Dhoni said. "But if we could have managed 10-15 more runs the game could have been different."
England won its previous Twenty20 match against India by six wickets on Aug. 31 in Manchester.
- Kevin Pietersen
- Yusuf Pathan
- Twenty20 match
- Suresh Raina
- Graeme Swann