Alastair Cook led England to victory again in the third one-day international against Pakistan. It secured a 3-0 lead and confirmed England will win the 4 match series. After disappointment in the Test series, England’s one-day side have fought back impressively.
Chasing a modest 223, England managed it with 9 wickets to spare, their batsmen emulating the impressive performance by England’s bowlers. Many were expecting England to flop in the one-day series after struggling against spin bowling in the Test matches.
"We showed a lot of character to turn that round," Cook said. "The lads have picked themselves up and fronted up in the middle. It doesn't mean we've learnt all our lessons in one-day cricket. But we're certainly a few steps forward."
For once Cook didn’t score a century, edging a catch when well-set on 80. Being a captain with a keen sense of the team’s priorities, Cook was pleased to see Kevin Pietersen finish with an unbeaten 111, the ideal riposte to those suggesting that the batsman’s best days were behind him.
Pietersen batted with patience and controlled aggression as he and Cook mounted an opening partnership of 170 to destroy any illusions Pakistan might have had of saving the series. Excellent bowling, notably from Steve Finn, had already restricted Pakistan to a meagre score.
"I don't have to prove any points," Pietersen said. "I just want to enjoy my cricket. Hundreds in one-day cricket are hard. To get one here, 3 years after the last, and to go 3-0 up in the series is just great."