Cuttack, Nov 26 (IANS) Kevin Pietersen scored his first century as captain to help England post a challenging 270 for four against India in the fifth one-dayer at Barabati Stadium here Wednesday.
Pietersen struck an unbeaten 111 and was involved in a 112-run stand with Owais Shah (66 not out) to steer England after they were 158 for four.
With the top-order failing to score big knocks, the captain promoted himself up the order to number three and showed the way to other batsmen.
The new opening combination of Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook did not click as the latter gave his wicket to Zaheer Khan with a drive to point where he was caught by Yuvraj Singh in the sixth over. Zaheer struck again in the 10th over claiming Bopara. England were reduced to 68 for two.
Paul Collingwood (40) and Pietersen then steadied the innings with a 89-run stand.
Pietersen was quick off the block, scoring 25 off 17 balls and then paced his innings beautifully before giving the late charge.
His seventh hundred came off 119 balls and was studded with 10 boundaries and one six.
Harbhajan Singh removed Collingwood while big-hitting Andrew Flintoff was dismissed by Ishant Sharma. The two quick wickets jolted England but Pietersen found an able partner in Shah. The duo played mixing caution and aggression, with Shah scoring at a fast clip. His 57-ball innings had nine boundaries.
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