Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Kevin Pietersen hit 62 not out and England’s bowlers held their nerve to secure a five-run win against Pakistan in the series-deciding Twenty20 cricket match.
Pietersen’s unbeaten 52-ball innings lifted England to 129- 6 in Abu Dhabi last night. With Pakistan needing 23 runs off the last three overs, Jade Dernbach and Stuart Broad restricted the batting team to 124-6. Dernbach finished with two wickets, including Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq with the last ball to seal a 2-1 series win.
It was the lowest total that England successfully defended in the sport’s shortest format. The team will play four more Twenty20 internationals before opening the defense of its World Twenty20 title Sept. 21 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The victory also concluded England’s eight-week stay in the United Arab Emirates, during which it lost all three Test matches against Pakistan before rebounding with a 4-0 cleansweep of the one-day series.
England took the best-of-three Twenty20 contest into a deciding game by winning the second match by 38 runs three days ago. Pietersen was named man of the series after scoring 112 runs at an average of 56. He averaged 11.16 in the three Tests.
England, the No. 1 team in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings, will today name its squad for a two- match series against Sri Lanka starting March 26 in Galle.
--Editors: Dan Baynes, Dex McLuskey
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