HAROON SIDDIQUI

DUBAI - Kevin Pietersen led England to 4-0 rout against Pakistan with a superb century (130) in the final one-day international of the four-match series here at the Dubai Sports Complex on Monday.

England defeated Pakistan by four wickets in the final over of the match. Pietersen with Keiswetter put on 91 runs for the fifth wicket stand and ensured victory for England before the later ran himself out for his personal score of 43 runs. Pakistan spinners gave their team a chance of avoiding a whitewash by taking advantage of a wearing surface to leave England's pursuit of 238 in the balance. Two wickets in three balls for Saeed Ajmal gave Pakistan the edge and left Kevin Pietersen, unbeaten with a half-century, needing to produce another match-winning innings

After two quiet games Ajmal was back at the forefront of England's problems as one of five spin options for Misbah-ul-Haq. In his third over, he removed Eoin Morgan lbw when the left hander missed a sweep. Morgan, who had move briskly to 15, considered using a review but, as replays soon showed, wisely headed straight for the dressing room as the ball struck him in line with off stump.

Two balls later and Jos Buttler's first innings in one-dayer was ended via an inside edge onto the pad that looped to short leg. For the first time in this series England's innings didn't get a solid base. Alastair Cook, having made 319 runs in the previous three innings, was lbw second ball having cut the opening delivery of the chase from Junaid Khan through point. Junaid, the lone quick in Pakistan's team, successfully lobbied to use the DRS after Cook had initially been given not out although Misbah's request was half-hearted at best.

The early boundaries of the chase came from Jonathan Trott as he drove Junaid and clipped Abdur Rehman, who had been given the new ball against Pietersen. Soon, though, Pietersen made his mark as he advanced down the pitch at Rehman and twice drove Ajmal exquisitely through the covers.

Trott had eased to 11 off 13 balls but could only managed four from his next 17, which was threatening to put the pressure back on Pietersen, before he top-edged a pull against Rehman. Ajmal's impact then left England needing a period of consolidation to keep the target within sight.

Craig Kieswetter, still settling into his new home in the middle order, wasn't convincing against spin but between the edges, jabs and appeals began to find the boundary. Pietersen, riding on the confidence of his hundred three days ago, continued to play the lead role as he reached fifty from 66 balls. Both sides knew his presence was crucial to the outcome.

Junaid Khan got one wicket while Abdul Rehman grabbed one wicket and Saeed Ajmal three wickets including prized wicket of Kevin but it was too late. Pakistan though fielded and bowled well today but their batsmen failed to delivery and luck was with not them and Kevin Pietersen completed Pakistan rout.

Earlier, England debutant pacer Jade Dernbach (4-45) restricted Pakistan to 237 in the allotted 50 overs. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq rescued Pakistan from total collapse and the pair added 111 to push Pakistan to 119 for 2 and set the platform from where they have a chance to post a big total to avoid whitewash.

But England fought back and Pakistan were all out for 237. Azhar contributed 58 runs laced with five boundaries while Asad added 65 runs including six boundaries. Misbah (46) also played a steady knock. Pakistan’s middle order batsmen failed to perform according to their potential and were bundled out for 237 runs while at one stage it was evident that Pakistan will score 270 plus runs during the allotted overs. Misbah played responsible innings of 46 runs and gave Pakistan’s total some stability. England rested James Anderson and Stuart Broad and included Tim Bresnan and Jade Dernbach. Pakistan shuffled their pack again, opting for just one quick bowler, the left-armer Junaid Khan, on a surface being used for the second time and expected to aid the spinners, which meant Misbah-ul-Haq batted first. Dernbach made an immediate impact on his return to England colours when he struck second ball to have M Hafeez caught behind. Consistency again proved Dernbach's problem as a wide delivery was driven through the covers by Asad and in the same over he was flicked through square leg. He returned in the bowling powerplay and two further overs cost him 12 runs during which time Asad went to his half-century from 59 balls. Bresnan was also a touch expensive in his first match of the tour following the elbow injury which kept him out of the Test series.