First ODI

England v New Zealand 2008

Colin Bateman

At Chester-le-Street, June 15. England won by 114 runs. Toss: New Zealand. One-day international debuts: T. R. Ambrose; T. G. Southee.


Kevin Pietersen brings out his flamboyant switch-hit, England v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Chester-le-Street, June 15, 2008
Kevin Pietersen pulls off the switch-hit © Getty Images
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England carried their winning momentum from the Tests and Twenty20 international into the 50-over series, and once again Pietersen sent the crowd home with something to talk about. His sixth one-day international century, and first in England, contained an outrageous stroke that thrilled the 16,000 capacity crowd and split opinions: some argued it was creative and brilliant, others unfair and illegal. Pietersen played what became known as a "switch-hit" when he twice changed his right-handed stance and grip to those of a left-hander just as the bowler - Styris - approached his delivery stride. The result was two sixes, one over what had become midwicket, the other over what was now long-on.

The sight of Collingwood trying vainly to reverse-sweep, and the fact that Styris had only one boundary fielder on the off side for his off-cutters, spurred Pietersen to try a shot he had been grooving in the nets and had used in the inaugural World Twenty20 against Zimbabwe less than a year before. Yet, such was the reaction that within 48 hours MCC, custodians of the Laws, issued a statement that the shot was acceptable. Pietersen, with 110 off 112 balls, and Collingwood, finding form at last, laid the foundations of England's impressive 307 for five, and Shah topped it off with a free-wheeling 25-ball 49. New Zealand's timid reply was ended by local hero Collingwood taking four wickets in two overs.

Man of the Match: K. P. Pietersen.

© John Wisden & Co.