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Pietersen, Cook relish one-day win

AFP
Feb 19, 2012 at 06:22pm IST

Dubai: Openers Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook showed great delight in England clinching the one-day series against Pakistan, saying a win in sub-continent like conditions was amazing.

Pietersen hit his first one-day century since November 2008, finishing with an unbeaten 111 while Cook scored 80 - narrowly missing a third successive hundred - to help England win the third match by nine wickets on Saturday.

Pakistan were restricted to 222 after batting first. England now enjoy an unassailable 3-0 lead with the fourth match here on Tuesday left as dead.

Pietersen, Cook relish one-day win

Pietersen hit his first one-day century since November 2008, finishing with an unbeaten 111.

Pietersen said England's win was brilliant besides his hundred.

"It's nice to get a hundred after a long time and three nil up also is a brilliant, brilliant result for us," said Pietersen on Saturday.

"We got hammered in India," said Pietersen of a 5-0 defeat in India last year. "Sub-continent tours are not very easy for us and to be three nil up makes everyone happy."

Pietersen, who flopped as batsman in the preceding 3-0 Test defeat with only 67 runs, said his opening the innings with Cook has worked well.

"Look we sat down in a team meeting and talked about opening and we said that when we play in the sub-continent we are generally two three down very early and in order to be successful in ODIs you can't afford to lose early wickets.

"Cook is turning out to be a very good one-day cricketer. His technique in Test cricket is sensational and he is doing well in one-day cricket as well so the partnership is good."

Pietersen denied he has to prove his critics wrong.

"No I don't have to prove a point, I just want to enjoy my career. I understand criticism. If I am not playing well, criticise me. I don't mind. I have become very thick skinned I don't have to prove any points.

"I want to enjoy myself and enjoy cricket and I want us to win. I told a press conference nearly 18 months ago when we won the World Twenty20 and went to Australia and won the Ashes that was the most important and I don't need to prove any more points."

Cook, who took over as one-day captain last year, said a one-day win was great after being crushed in the Tests.

"We talked about our disappointment from the Test series. It shows a lot of character from our sides to turn that around. When we lose three Tests in a row it is tough. You could feel right to be feeling down on yourself.

"The lads have shown tremendous character in picking themselves up to face the challenge and delivering out in the middle. I think everyone has played a crucial part at some stage in the three games. It is very satisfying victory for us.

"That doesn't mean we have achieved everything, but we have certainly made the right step forward in playing in these conditions."

Both teams also play three Twenty20 after one-day.

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