England's disappointing World Cup campaign ended on a bright note as they registered a thrilling one-wicket victory over the West Indies in Bridgetown, Barbados on Saturday.
Although both struggling sides were out of contention for a berth the semi-finals, West Indies captain Lara's retirement and England coach Duncan Fletcher's imminent departure gave an enthralling match extra significance.
Kevin Pietersen used the stage to show his class as he thrilled the huge gathering at the Kensington Oval with a blazing century.
Chasing a huge target of 301, England were given a fine start by captain Michael Vaughan, who made 79 from 68 deliveries. But his dismissal seemed to have brought the West Indies back into the game, as they claimed a few quick wickets after that to reduce England to 189 for 6 in the 36th over.
But the South African-born Pietersen did not relent and continued attacking the Windies bowlers. His 78-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Paul Nixon turned the game in England's favour.
Pietersen brought up his century in some style when he hoisted a huge six off pacer Jerome Taylor. It was his second century of the tournament - the first coming against Australia -- but off the very next delivery he was bowled by Taylor.
His century came off 90 balls and featured 10 fours and one six.
Nixon scored a quick 38 and the tailenders helped England scramble home by 1 wicket.
Photograph: Getty Images
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