England surprised South Africa by a facile margin, and they have Kevin Pietersen to thank for the eventually easy 39-run win. The match was won thanks to his blistering half century and his 94-run stand with Craig Kieswetter as England got the better of South Africa's pace-heavy attack to post 168 for 7.
South Africa won the early round when Johan Botha got the better of Michael Lumb in the first over, but Pietersen restored parity in a hurry, slamming Dale Steyn for two fours in the second over. In the next over, he edged Morne Morkel between the wicketkeeper and slip, as South Africa began to feel the heat. Pietersen cashed in and ensured that he stole the momentum and took England ahead.
With Charl Langeveldt leaking runs to Kieswetter at the other end, South Africa were running out of options, and Pietersen kept them concerned, by dismantling Morne Morkel's pace, with two dismissive pulls in his second over. The pair complemented each other well, as Pietersen turned the strike over for the next couple of overs, while Kieswetter did the damage. Pietersen's best was yet to come though, and he reserved it for the biggest threat in South Africa's bowling attack.
In the eleventh over of the innings, Pietersen got stuck into Steyn, crashing him for boundaries through the covers and midwicket. In between those two hits, he hit one of the biggest sixes ever seen in Barbados, as he picked the slower ball early and whacked it high over the roof at midwicket, a couple of bounces and out of the stadium. The spirit had been sucked out of South Africa, and though Pietersen perished in the next over, the damage had been done. England went off the boil in the ending stages of their innings, but still won the game by a comfortable margin, underlining the extent and value of KP's dominance.